Saturday, 6 September 2014

Byrds, Buttons & Twits

I came to the realization today that I  haven't really spent much time on this space.  Though to be frank I haven't felt completely writer-y, or creative lately (unusual for me).  I wanted to avoid "poisoning" this space and your mind(s) with half-assery, instead preferring to wait it out, whatever "it" is.

Much of my absence in the world of creativity in a proper way  I think may be  because  
I've been focusing a lot on other aspects of my life. Not that being creative isn't an important aspect, it has always and will always be a part of what a value in myself.

The voice of my creative brain sounded like (more of an internal dialogue): 

Creative Brain:"We should write a blog post, it's been a while and we like to write".

Logical Brain: "Yes we should write, but, we should really avoid sounding like a complete twit.  We want to post content we may be comfortable to stand by and not hide in shame because we just wanted to be creative.  If we're gonna head down that route let me just get you some Popsicle sticks, white glue and glitter". 

Creative Brain: "That's not very encouraging, humph.Hmmmmm. well it is  a beautiful day today, we should write about the weather".

Logical Brain: "We've done that, it's too Canadian always going on about the weather it won't translate.  Do we really want people out there being like, reading her blog is like turning on the weather channel?" 

Creative Brain: "Well, no. I mean we should write something...about makeup or fashion or buttons.

Logical Brain: "Buttons?! Really you want to write about buttons? You know nothing about buttons".

Creative Brain: "Well yea who doesn't love a good button, buttons are awesome.  We could do a whole appreciation of the button post. Put that degree to use and do some proper academic  research.

Logical Brain: "..."Even better!  We could do a series. Part 1: Pre-history of the button".

Creative Brain: "See?! Great idea! Buttons!"

Logical Brain: "Go home Creative Brain, you're drunk".

Conversations are not normally as well structured inside my cranium, it's usually a more frazzled dialogue, should I shouldn't I?  I want to but what do I write about?  

I think maybe it's called writer's block.  I've never experienced it for so long before, but, I didn't like it.

I think the cover song by The Byrds represents this struggle and that I've come to an understanding that to everything there is a time to...


Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Fringe Benefits?

In the early afternoon on the day which I was supposed to set off on my Spanish vacation, I had booked in a hair appointment, believing, rather foolishly that I could accomplish all that which I had set out for the day and still take care of all of those last minute tasks, in a graceful and calm fashion I'm an adult, isn't that what adults do?  Handle everything with grace, calm and with and, um, hm.  Yea I don't know who I was channeling at the time eitheir.

In my eagerness to get everything done before I had left for Spain (more on that later), I had scheduled things too closely and ended up late, not too late but late enough that the girl at reception did her best to make it understood that she thought my lateness was akin to the equivalent of a world catastrophe ( I called, apologized that I would be late, and  I was still given the go head to come on in). I now understand why those that can do have personal assistants.  

I never did get anything done with my hair that day,  the salon was incredibly apologetic for Ms. receptionist's behaviour and her drama filled reaction to my lateness in front of other salon patrons.  The salon offered to make amends, I was appreciative and I left it at that, the fault was mine after all.  All in all this is a first world problem and though slightly annoyed, I decided to take this in stride and wear my hair au naturel, in  all of it's thick, wavy, sometimes curly glory.  

Barcelona & Mallorca hair au naturel
I was going on vacation after all, and didn't want to chance any house-fires by taking my straightener (I know now I wouldn't have used it even if I had taken it. Way too much effort for a vacation).  In all honesty, I think it all worked out for the best.  Where vacation was concerned. My apparent want to get my hair cut was tempered by the sights & sounds of Spain, too enthralled by the new world around me, the desire to do anything worthwhile, let alone spending a great deal of time and/or thought into my hair was just not going to be on the cards.  I much prefer discovery and adventure over preening over my appearance for hours, although I do preen, not for hours, but, quite regularly (personal hygene is a must). 

Back in more familiar territory and routine, the desire to preen.  Before I had left I thought I knew exactly, precisely the image I had wanted to do. I wanted something chic, yet bohemian, yet classic, age appropriate, but fashionable.  Since these are all 'buzzwords' that tend to mean very little, my image of the perfect hair was a  light rose-gold pale concoction.

Rose-Gold hair via Pinterest
This was the image that I would show my hairdresser on my phone.  I would say something ridiculous akin to "Give me hair colour, sophistication,  joie de vivre, work your magic and work it well"! (swiftly followed by an appropriately timed please and thank you) as is my custom.  This image seemed like a good image this plan seemed like an excellent plan, my nearest and dearest to me agreed that this image would suit my person, lifestyle and skin tone.  I had agonized for weeks to make sure that the image presented before you, was the image at least to a certain extent was the image I would represent, the hair I would wear every day, until inevitably boredom set in.

Then, while editing vacation photos, I heard it in the late hours of the night, it approached out of nowhere like that nefarious looking character that your loved ones and guardians pull you away from (or should) when 'the stranger' approaches you in their scraggly looking demeanor.  They try to entice you with promises of sugary dreams that never seem to pan out.  In my case the nefarious character did not take to presenting sugary treats (which I would have welcomed). The nefarious character this time a-round made its appearance in the form of the idea of  bangs, fringe, the devil's minion, whatever you'd like to I heard it calling to me, like a voice at in the night being carried by a warm wind. It tried to seduce me by  "But, don't you want to look impossibly chic, sophisticated? Sexy? Coquettish even?!" 

Fringe: Trying to look impossibly chic, sophisticated, sexy, coquettish even!

I've had bangs/fringe before, given the right hairdresser one does tend to look impossibly sophisticated (only though right after leaving the salon, then it's all: "You fool, you fell for it again"! As from day to day you struggle to personify chicness, inevitably this will happen.  These pictures are ones whch were taken in most cases after leaving the salon, to you know, inform all of my friends of how chic and sophisticated I looked.  This vibe lasted for the day, maybe long as I broke out the hair straightener

The reality was that I didn't and I know I will not break out the hair straightener every day, I have impossibly uncooperative hair when it comes to fringe/bangs.  In the moments when I have them I yearn for a live in hairdresser to straighten my hair, I don't foresee that in my immediate future (How unfortunate you say). It is it is unfortunate that I am drawn to fringe/bangs like a siren song found in the journey through life's great oddessey.  I've reasoned and I have used logic (you have two cow-licks I think to myself), yet logic does not deter me and I always seem to talk myself into them, every single time without fail.

This time around things are going to be different, this time I will not show the hairdresser hair with fringe/bangs, I will persevere.  I will walk into the salon and say "Give me something to suit my face shape and skin colour".  I will  let her work her Edward Scissor Hands like magic, I will trust in her years of experience and expertise and what I assume will be good taste.  I will not fall into the spell of the chichest of chic fringes throughout the internet.  And I will trust that I will walk out with the most chic, sophisticated sexy and fringe free coquettish free hair...I hope.

I'll let you know how that all goes.  In all honesty, is it worth all the work styling, battles with nature and re-growth for some fringe benefits?


Wednesday, 11 June 2014


I've learned, and have been reminded most recently over the past two months or so that change is the one constant in life.

About two months ago I lost my job, but, I was fortunate to find a new one, which seems to promise a more rewarding professional future. In that time, I've also been fortunate enough to be able to travel internationally and really had the opportunity to take some time out to really consider the "options" available as a woman, a person and most importantly a human being.

I plan in continuing to utilize this blog as a creative space, I wish I could give those of you searching for a category in which to place this space (my little piece of the internet) a label or a decisive category in which to place this, such as "lifestyle", "food" or "fashion", but I don't even know how this space will evolve and what eventual category (as much as I hate to categorize things) will become.

If you're up for it, I invite you to continue to keep an eye on this space as I try to muddle through...all these changes and all of this life happening all around me.

Here's hoping to a continuous journey of self discovery!



Thursday, 15 May 2014

Back in Business

Well hello there,

I've missed you.

Mission new laptop accomplished. New blog post coming shortly.



Thursday, 17 April 2014

When technology fails

For those of you interested in reading my little piece of the Internet, I thank you sincerely.

The lack of posts of late is not due to lack of interest or care. You see, dear has failed me...and when technology starts to die so does my ability to post content. So please bear with me if you're out there reading this.

I should have access to a laptop shortly, so this blog space can get on rollin' properly in 2014.

Thanks again for keeping an eye on this space.

Best wishes! Til later!


Sunday, 23 March 2014

On the Third Day of Spring

Fake Flowers at Michel's

There is no spring in Canada.  This winter has been unrelenting.  

Baby it's Cold Outside, has turned out to have been an event foreshadowing the epic winter which had befallen us.  I've never been more thankful for hats, gloves, scarves, boots and all things woolen and shearling.

On the second day of spring I awoke to a chill and upon taking a peek outside the window, there appeared to be a fresh blanket of snow on the ground.  While  beautiful to look at through the window, snow in mid-march is not exactly a welcome sight.  Only two days before in a full blown case of optimism, as a result of experiencing a slightly warmer day which I naturally, but, falsely believed signalled the end of our deep freeze I was in full pining/online shopping force in preparation for spring.

My hopes were considerably dampened when, we were hit by snow.  But, one mustn't give up, one must go on.  In an effort to recuperate from the shock of freshly laden snow I sought companionship.
On that second day of spring I was spending time with some friends when I was introduced to the magical properties of an Ethiopian snack: kolo

Coffee and kolo, a traditional Ethiopian pairing.

"Just take some of this and chew on it", were the  instructions I was given. With enthusiasm I took some of this grain mixture (typically barley, chickpeas and peanuts which have been roasted and spiced), and bit.

 I was rewarded with a wonderful crunch, and chewiness with a bit of a spicy kick.  Traditionally served with coffee and often accompanied by it's friend popcorn, kolo is part of the Ethopian culture, as sort of afternoon ritual.  After some conversation, coffee and kolo, I found my spirit restored.  Laden with provisions (a container of kolo), I made my way home through the under-belly of the Canadian spring 'frost'. 

Fueled by coffee, kolo and my impatient anticipation of spring, that night I dreamt of a bohemian life in the spice markets and bazaars of the world.  I dreamt of a sub-tropic world and a mishmash of cultures I have yet to visit and of a wanderlust I have never known.



Wednesday, 19 February 2014

(Not) En Pointe! The Art of Contrology

I am a short person in a tall person's body.  When I was younger the great majority of individuals simply judging by my body type assumed that I would grow a few inches over six feet.  In actuality, I've clocked in at five feet and approximately six inches, give or take a few inches (about .5) to be exact.

(While envied by some, I'd love to have a more curvaceous figure...It's that old adage of we want what we cant have).

My long monkey arms and legs have meant that when it comes to physical exercise...Well I've always felt a bit awkward, when running (Imagine a green bean or an asparagus flaying around haphazardly), or participating in any great feats of strength, at best has always felt out of place and awkward.  For the majority of my adult life, I have actively avoided exercise.  Mostly because I wanted to save myself the awkward embarrassment of feeling and/or believing I look ridiculous.  The one type of physical movement which I've always found beautiful is, ballet.

The finale scene from Center Stage is a great example of how exciting ballet can be.  An art form which I never had the opportunity to master.  I've always appreciated how a good ballet dancer can make the precision, hard work and sacrifice of this art form appear effortless.

For years, I've admired this art form, and the immense amount of damage done in the name of art, especially where a ballerina's feet are concerned, as shown in 'En Pointe!' by The Australian Ballet.  For as long as I can remember, I felt that I could never truly be physically active or to 'hone' my body to become a modern day female Adonis

I had become comfortable in the knowledge, that my body would deteriorate, and that there was nothing I could or should do about it, with my clumsy uncoordinated like ways.   Then out of nowhere, I kept hearing about this new craze called Pilates.  Not being one to follow the fads of the cool kids (celebrity culture), l did my best not to get caught up into the hype of yet another 'thing' that was happening. I honestly don't remember what truly peaked my curiosity, but I did some research on Pilates.  Joseph Pilates was the inventor of an approach he called Contrology.  If you're not so much into the reading thing, or if you just love cute Infobytes video's, take a look at An Animated History of Pilates.

Researching, further into the topic of what is in the modern sense known as Pilates, I immediately recognized that I did not know how to move with or within my body.  The deeper I became engrossed in the topic of Pilates, I realized that like my first love, ballet, Pilates in its own way is a made up of a series of unique and precise movements.

Where ballet was an art form which I knew I missed out in childhood (training starts quite early), I didn't want to allow myself to miss out on this 'fad' of Pilates.  I took my well trained brain, and my untrained body and found a studio which specialized in the art of Contrology (Pilates) in my area.  I was determined that  If I was going to do this, I was going to do it right.  These classes were the gateway into allowing me to discover how to exercise my body without feeling completely awkward, uncoordinated, and simply not fast enough or strong enough like other 'traditional' exercise methods had in the past.  I was beyond excited that I had finally found, something that works for me, with zero to minimum green bean like awkwardness!

For many different reasons (work schedule changes, other obligations etc),  I am not able to attend the classes of at the studio (I loved attending those classes).  While, I strongly encourage anyone starting Pilates (If you can continue to go to classes with instructors in a studio, they teach proper alignment), I have found Pilates Anytime has helped me to maintain and continue on with the art of Contrology, where I can truly say that,

'Pilates' via Pinterest



Monday, 17 February 2014

Summer Dream'

The continuous and consistent snowfall has meant that this my little region of Canada has not only snow banks so high that we can not see past them, it has also meant that the yearning for summer (something from which I do not normally suffer) has placed itself within my heart.  I could tell you that I dream of sandy beaches on lone Islands yet undiscovered, but, that's not the kinda girl I am.

While I do appreciate the beach, the sun and the sand to a certain extent,  I am not naturally drawn to  beach culture.  However, the deeper and longer this deep-freeze holds on to us, I find that I yearn for all the things of summer beach and non-beach-like included.  So, I present to you my ode to summer.

1. Light Summer Dresses 'Bohemian Rhapsody' 2.  Beer Battered Cajun Fries 3. Hammock via Hamanica via Etsy 4. Alligator ring via Diamentdesigns via Etsy

1. Bohemian Rhapsody & 4, 2. Food 3. For My Travels 

1. For My Travels 2. Birthday 3. Salt Water Taffy 'Food' 4. Vacation in Spain

Here's hoping summer 2014 doesn't remain in the realm of dreams!



Friday, 14 February 2014

Sacré Cœur--Sacred Heart

"The heart has reasons that reason cannot know."

Believe it or not, in my university days, I took a course called  Love and It's Myths.  A romantic and dreamer at heart, I foolishly thought that this course could answer some of the burning questions about the yearning  and preoccupation  humanity seems to have surrounding love.

The course had to do with love and my dreamer-eaque tendencies I assumed that I would be let in upon a closely guarded secret.  To my disappointment it had more to do with the professor's illegitimate progeny and otherwise unsavory indiscretions (stories which he thought made him a 'cool guy'), I had to keep the visible look of disdain off of my face.  Between the tales of 'conquests' and a heavy lean towards the philosophies of Pliny, Socrates and the like I was all loved out (reading a good majority of Greek philosophy is not my idea of a good time).

One thing that stuck with me from the course, was the myth of the first humans.  The story goes something like this...The God Zeus was doing god-like Zeus things going about his day when he noticed the first humans roaming around upon the earthly plane.  The humans which Zeus observed were not the humans which we believe ourselves to be.

The humans which Zeus observed had two heads, two lips, two noses, four eyes, eight limbs.  Zeus watching the humans noticed that they were intelligent, and industrious.  Fearing the worst; the humans may one day over power him, Zeus had an ingenious plan.  He would separate the whole into two halves, each searching for their other half for all time: soul-mates.  This is the philosophical explanation for our yearning finding that individual to whom we may say 'you complete me', which is considered to be the ultimate expression of oneness or love.

1. To Be Quoted 2. Duane Michels

There are other instances of love, friendship, familial and the like which are our first introductions to the idea (if one is so lucky) which gives our souls & hearts if one pays attention which is a glimpse of how love between soul mates should express itself.

 Creatives (i.e. poets, artists, writers and musicians), have tried to capture the magic & mystery of love throughout time. The majority of people within the world in their own way are fascinated and in search of the kind of love that makes time stand still.  Very few of us are lucky enough to encounter it, and if we are so lucky to hold on to it and give it a snowball's chance in hell.  I mention this with complete sincerity and with the greatest respect for that 'crazy little thing called love'.

Valentine's day, comes around every year and it is meant to be wholly representative or is the day where we should that special somebody our love.  While cheesy and ostentatious, inherently I have no big moral reason to bash valentines one I guess issue with it (even taking into consideration all of those appropriately placed chocolate options and 3 foot teddy bears one readily sees in the shops, at least in North America), it is it seems insincere.  To me, it just seems that when you love somebody, and I mean head over heels, butterflies in your stomach L.O.V. E baby, you show them in little ways every day, perhaps even being unaware that you're doing it.  To me (and I could be wrong), true love, happens in the quiet moments of life, in the little looks, gestures and sweet nothings of the every day. In the original incarnation the day of St Valentinus latin (if you're a history nerd),the premise of St. Valentine's day was based within the idea of courtly love.  An expression of love through admiration of one's beloved, often from afar.

On this St. Valentine's day, I leave you with a quote from one of my favourite films, the romantic that I am 'Meet Joe Black'. About what else but LOVE.

Happy St. Valentine's Day



Friday, 31 January 2014

We could do what kings do...

Sneak peak of the upcoming post on MWiktoria, please enjoy the musical stylings of The Pierces...

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Good Morning Orchid!: Mid-Week Inspiration

 Good Morning Handsome & Beautiful,

I woke up this morning to find my orchid, which has been surely but steadily growing buds for the past several weeks was in full bloom *fingers crossed*  In all honesty I was thisclose to re-potting it, Orchid's roots look it its gonna get 'cha...Albeit at an incredibly slow and measured pace.  I feel for my orchid friend.  Here it is all feeling good about itself and it doesn't have enough room to keep all its roots inside the pot.

Alas, all of the sites or the information which I have been able to get my hands on has all "strongly suggested" that it not be re-potted until it is fully done is bloom cycle, or in this case re-bloom cycle.  So if it has nine buds and the first two bloomed...and the the buds are all different sizes, the only thing to think is that I hope my orchid friend holds out for that long...but it must be happy I mean its re-blooming right?

The last time it was in bloom was eight months ago, so its kinda the last thing I'd really expected it to do though I kept watering it, not icing it (maybe that's the key) to these ice orchids.  The urban myth about orchids or all of the "talk" is that they're really super difficult to grow?  Is there any truth in that I wonder. 

1.Good Morning Handsome Mug 2. Ice Orchid 3. Good Morning Beautiful Mug 4. Revlon ColourBurst Lipgloss

Not being a morning person, the mugs 'Good Morning Handsome'  and 'Good Morning Beautiful' would certainly not make me one of those I'm so happy to be alive on this glorious morning!!! types but I certainly think they would encourage and inspire me to start the day, with perhaps a little bit more pep in my step.  But then again I am writing this post coffee, so maybe is coffee which really deserves the credit.

After coffee, sometimes tea, depending on my mood, given enough liquid courage (coffee/tea not alcohol, just to be clear) I will put on my 'war paint'.  As of late that has included 'Revlon's ColorBurst Lipgloss' in Papaya, which was either discontinued or limited edition, so you can imagine how excited I was I discovered these in my mail box.  Ebay is a wonderful treasure trove where wonderful beings live who have access to things that a supposedly discontinued (they're like squirrels for the winter, though in this case men named Stephen. You should pay him a visit on Ebay, I'm sure he'd super appreciate it. 

 As I'm sure you've noticed by now, I have a bit of an interest in things made of clay as of late, which was addressed in this post here. 

In an effort to ensure I do not further amass more mugs, please save me from myself and pick up the above mentioned mugs, both of them in whichever combination you choose, swipe on some Papaya Lipgloss and perhaps try your hand at taking care of an ice orchid, if you'd like.  Hope to see you on the other side of mid-week.



Sunday, 19 January 2014

Girl from the Town of Ceramics

As an immigrant to this country of Canada, I have never been particularly patriotic towards my home country or culture.  While familiar with the food, tradition and general culture of the region of  Poland, there was more encouragement to amalgamate or become part and a representation of Canadian culture as opposed to that of our home country.

In many ways it made sense to take upon the culture of the country to which we have come to live as opposed to holding on to a culture of the past, a culture which had represented a great deal of cultural upheaval.

As a student of archaeology, I learned about the importance of the role of the pottery pieces and  our ability to examine shards of them in order to identify changes within ancient cultures.  Pottery has been often utilized as a means of measuring the start of or end to a time period.  As well, pottery also  often documented outside influence(s), such as invading cultural influences, trade with different cultures and/or changes within a culture in and of itself.

Kelley who does the topic more justice than I feel I ever could at this moment in time) of Never a Dull Day in Poland is an American expatriate living in Poland and has done a fairly extensive and relatively recent post (2013) of her adventures within and experience(s) of  Boleslawiec and the lower Silesian region here and an historical post that's a little bit more in depth here.   But enough of the **academic blah, blah, blahs for today.

...We're talking imagination and inspiration...'Cause you know that's how this blog rolls...

* Peacock Pattern 
  While always having know of the prevalence of the pottery, and being given a few pieces by way of my grandmother over the years, I had never really took an interest the pottery, until that is a few days ago.

I was out and about and saw a sign in a shop window advertising that they sold ceramics from the Boleslawiec region, see: Distinctly Tea, I wandered in noticing that they carried stoneware ceramics from my home town and I became curious to see the extent to their collection.  I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered was that there was an entire wall, and several tables dedicated to ceramics from the Silesian region. 

 * 1. Blue Daisy Design 2. Shelves of Boleslawiec Pottery 3. Official seal of authenticity 4. City Centre Boleslawiec Photo here. 5. Peacock Pattern Design

While wandering and being overwhelmed by the beautiful and somewhat bohemian designs of the ceramics, the feeling swept over me that I wanted to purchase a piece for myself.  Out of all of the choices which you see on the shelves the choice was vast, I was drawn to the mug on the left, the so called blue daisy design. These mugs are popular and believe it or not, like any designer item (as these are often considered to be), fakes abound.  I contacted my resident certifier of ceramics aka mom, who had once apprenticed at the ceramics factory in Boleslawiec where the stoneware is made.

In the video you may see how the artist gains their inspiration and how the ceramics from start of finish are based upon the artist's inspiration.

If like me you are keen and curious about how all things are inspired, and the journey they take to becoming a reality, and if you're super super curious, nerdy and/or studious about the process check out this:

I think or at least I've found my life, that things (i.e. people books and in this case pottery), find you when you're ready for them. Even though I was always interested in cultural history, it was my own cultural history to a great extent which I have been denying.

As  I get older, and as I find that I am losing connection with the sources of culture information (i.e. grandparents), considering it a bit more closely I found that the mug was perhaps a moment of inspiration, to reconnect with my cultural heritage or to incorporate it a little more reality in my day to day life, perhaps in In a very nostalgic sense through way of pottery. But this is all in retrospect, of course.

At the time, all I knew is that I wanted to take one of the mugs home.  Once I found the appropriate contender (see the mug above), and having received the "official" go ahead, being called a 'silly girl' on top of it, (I care not, say what you wish), I scooped it up and ecstatically carried this mug away to it's new home. 

 As I type this, and reflecting on the day's adventures  enjoying a hot chocolatey cup of spicy hot chocolate, I hope that you're also keeping warm on this very snowy evening.



* Photos of products taken by Marta Komar for MWiktoria blog, this is not a sponsored post.  Pottery, teas, and the like may be found at Distinctly tea locations.
 **(Pssst, if you really like the academic twist you can always, and I would encourage you to check out the 'Museum of Ceramics in Boleslawiec)

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Flamingo Sorbet!: Mid-Week Inspiration

 No, you didn't misread the title, it does say Flamingo Sorbet! I sincerely apologize for all of the horrific images your brain may have or may be at this very moment creating and ultimately presenting to you as your mind attempts to make logical sense of the title, it can't can it? 

The title of this week's mid-week inspiration collage was inspired by image of the flamingos in snow. From there I simply let my imagination guide the way. 

 * 1. Adorableness 2. & 5. Dress, Cut Colour. 3. Art, Architecture, Photography 4. & 6. For the home

The result is a mixture of sometimes  ostentatious pairings of colour, cold and patten which creates a mood which is cooling yet uplifting and cheerful. After all, who can honestly say that they don't need a pick-me-up mid-week?



*All Pins curated by MWiktoria via 'Pinterest', all rights to the images apply to their respective owners.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Baby It's Cold Outside

Gizzy: "Are you ready for this?" Me: "Yeah I'm ready!...I'm not ready, I'm not ready, I'm not ready!"

This  was my response to the 'blowing snow', that I had found myself  slowing moving through, on a freezing Monday night in January through   two sets of glass doors, steadily moving away from the warmth and comfort of the indoors to venturing into the cold abyss after a watching the weather wreaking havoc outside of the window all day.  It was early evening, and it was necessary to leave in order to at least try and make it home in one piece.

At a pace of...well, that no way would've, could've or should've outpaced a snail, we made our way precariously through a wintery like sandstorm of epic proportions. 

While we drove at a crawl, well, she drove,  I tried to look out for potential dangers which may befallen us, the mild winters of Southern Ontario to which I would daresay we had all become accustomed, were a distant memory. In case you were wondering, we made it...or did we?

[insert dramatic suspenseful music].

Living in Canada, it seems that to individuals abroad, there is a prevalent stereotype  that all Canadians are accustomed to living in Igloos, frolicking with polar bears and "Eskimo" kissing.  Granted Canada is a vast expanse of land, for the most part the regions which are the coldest are often not inhabited with the majority of the Canadian population is located in the southern most geographical region(s).  Meaning most of us live very similarily to residents of the United States of let's say for point of reference, New York City.

The weather we're used well, for the past five to six years has been...the poor man's winter, as opposed to the winter wonderland one might envision when daydreaming of winter Canadian style. This year, was the year that winter decided to sucker punch North America with its full force of cold weather.  It seemed that everyone in some way shape or form experienced changing weather pattens of the dramatic kind.  Poking around the internet a teeny-tiny bit, suggests that the dramatic change in temperature earlier this week had to do something to do with the shifting jet-stream? Global warming? Polar shift? 

I'm sure there are perfectly reasonable scientific explanations, theories and conspiracies for global shifting weather patterns.  My body decided to go into survival mode.  With the drop in temperature, I cursed modern day grooming habits and the evolutionary lack of fur present upon my human form, I put on the heat as high as it would go dressed in layers and enviously watched Lily the cat frolic in her unabashed fur covered nakedness. This would be a good point at which to mention, that I do not generate my own body heat, I steal everyone else's.

As The weather moved away from the aesthetic of weather representative of a winter wonderland, and had become representative of a 'deep freeze', I went into survival mode.  Yet instead of hoarding, akin to Macaques relaxing within the hot-springs, the mission which I had bestowed upon myself was one of finding that same warming relaxation.  I found that in my need to escape the cold I was drawn to items which I believe are representative of comfort, warmth and in a very modern and digital sense I took to the internet. I found was that I was drawn to layers, knit textures, warming beverages and sweet indulgences.

1. Macaque in Japanese hot spring.  Here. 2. Pine trees. Here 3.  Knit layering. Here 4. Morning Coffee. Here 5. Strawberry Smores or one's of your choosing. Here 6. Icelandic Sweater Here 7. Mexican Hot Chocolate Here 8. Fair-isle chevrons cowel Here 9. Inspirational fire-side. 10. Bedded Bliss. Here 11. Embracing the Cold. Here

The things that I found drawn to were the things that I found that I, for the most part, sought protection against the cold.  Warming, comforting and indulgent.  All of these little bits and pieces I believed would help me stave off the sometimes harsh cold. At least for a time.  As I became accustomed to the idea of potentially being thrown into another ice age, I also found that I slowly came to embrace the cold.  Some of the images above harken to this change in attitude towards the cold.  If anything, the ostentatious change in weather patterns of the January cold reminded me of the tremendous impact weather has upon all of us.

The temperature drop also reminded me how fortunate most of us are to be able to have access to all of little indulgences in order to help us through months of cold.  One of the indulgences which always helps to remind me of the beauty of the cold is the song 'Olsen Olsen' by the Icelandic band Sigur Rós.

Finally, these are just my thoughts on the cold.  I would be curious to know how you handle the cold.  Do you embrace its bite, or do you attempt to create a nest of warmth and relaxation?



Sunday, 5 January 2014

Salute to the Resolute!

Resolutions are funny things.  They seem to be a by product of the holiday frenzy which goes on from approximately mid-autumn to early winter, depending of course upon your view of when the holiday season begins.

For the majority of stores in North America, it is the very minute after Halloween signifies the beginning of the "holiday season".  Having once worked retail, by the time Christmas eve rolled around, the songs of Christmas were always present from the moment I woke up in the morning, to the moment I went to sleep...The soundtrack of my day, always there humming in the background was my experience of the holiday season working retail.  While the holidays may be a very special, exciting and comforting time for many people, the holidays are also filled with stress, anxiety and a fear of failure (that's right  ladies & gents I see the fear in your eyes).

There an old joke, maybe it's a saying and it goes something like this "There are only 364 days until Christimas"... Organization, they say, is key with this oh so ostentatious of holidays, with the highly organized amongst us, it is rumored, start collecting for the next holiday season... shortly there after xmas/new years/the holidays...akin to squirrels hoarding nuts to sustain them to the long cold, unforgiving winter.  For the rest of us, oh not so organized squirrels, we may see an item here or there, which we would consider, but we think we have time and so we wait...and wait...and wait. If done correctly, this will impart upon us a frenzy of stress, anxiety, and fear on the collective consciousness of all those who choose to take part within the madness of the holiday season.  We have been forewarned all of our adult lives about the consequences of procrastination, particularly in the form of the fairy tale with its idealized landscapes and all of its characters encompassing a level of extremely high morality normally not seen within everyday life, many of us falter.

 What can I say?  Life Happens.  We try our best, each and every one of us.  By the time we reach the end of the holiday season January 2nd  in most cases, we have taken our stress and exhaustion out on our minds, and bodies. The majority of us make it through, relatively unscathed and we can, if we so choose to ignore the fact  that we only have 364 days to go...until, you know.  In an ideal situation we would all give ourselves a long break from the tyranny of lists and responsibility, but as odd as it may seem, we turn up the stress to an almost unbearable level and we become concerned with setting ourselves resolutions for the new year.

The more I look around the more I notice that we are determined to punish ourselves for eating too much, drinking too much for having too much self indulgent fun over the holiday season (gluttony most likely being a by product of all the stress we had experienced).  As a collective, most of us would agree that a good number of people in society promise to diet, exercise, and get rid of all of their bad habits.

  I've never been one for resolutions. I realized very early on that if I tell myself I cannot absolutely do something, it's the only thing I want to do.  The resolution, whichever one it may be, well, it'll  sit there, tapping me on the skull until I give in. I find it curious that a new year (2014) which is supposed to signify new beginnings seems to be a continuation of the stress of the holiday season.

 I admire the conviction with which all of us want change, positive change, and change that could sky-rocket our lives into a life which we may not have been otherwise unable to imagine.  It's inspiring to know that so many of us believe that we are capable of escaping our current circumstance(s); our want to work for something greater. The resolutions the majority of us make in January set many of us up to fail because they are ultimatums.  Many of them are phrased in very black"(I will not) or white (I will) extremes, without leaving room for the reality of living within a human body within less than an idealized fairytale-esque reality.

Akin to the xmas music slowly but surely becoming part of my daily existence, I feel that in order to achieve, anything, let alone the resolutions we set for ourselves, we must be somewhat ready for the change (if only on a subconscious level), and it must be something we work at each day.  So this is me telling you to take it easy and give yourselves a break. Let your minds and bodies pause for a moment, consider that which you really need.  Consider whether jumping upon the band-wagon of new years resolutions suits your individual reality, instead of the collective reality set before you.

If you're one of those individuals who decided to make resolutions for 2014, you're a much stronger person than I, and I wish you all the best in achieving them.  Resolutions can be the first stepping stones to realizing change in your life.  The key is to not let them morph into boulders which will drown you.