Weekly Adventures 9.22.17 (Wedding Edition)

Last week was extra special because I was in Ottawa / Wakefield celebrating my best friend Mel's wedding. It was pretty magical.


I flew Porter, which meant that I was able to walk to the airport with my carry-on. I stayed in an adorable airbnb during the week whilst spending time with Mel, the bridal party and her other wonderful friends in the city.


Mel and I have been friends for 14 years, and while she's been in Amsterdam for the last 3 we've done a good job at maintaining our friendship across many, many miles.  Spending time together was bittersweet - very special to celebrate her love, the wedding and hang out together, but also sad because it made me miss her more. I know that I have a trip to Amsterdam coming up in my future, and our time together reinforced how much I need to work on making that happen ASAP.


It was a particularly beautiful week in Ottawa, which was especially wonderful since the wedding was outdoors; they couldn't have asked for a better day!


I rented my dress from Rent Frock Repeat, and since they have a location in Ottawa I didn't have to pack it with me. It was such a fun dress to wear!


And honestly, I can't say enough good things about my time with these gals. From doing Beyography choreography, laughing between courses, getting our hair and make up done together, travelling throughout Ottawa to Wakefield and back, sharing stories, hanging out in robes whilst taking photos, giving speeches - it was all a really lovely bridal party experience.



As a friend, it's such a joy to see the people you love the most find their most special people and celebrate that love. Over the last 4 years, watching all 3 of my best friends get married and being a part of their weddings has been such a gift. Mel's wedding was no different and I made a lot of memories that I will cherish for a very long time! I am over the moon thrilled for Mel and Alexei, and wish them so much continued happiness in the years to come.


I've got some fun events coming up over the weekend and then I'll spend the week prepping to head off on another adventure a week from today - more on that to come!

Cheers to love xo

Weekly Adventures 9.8.17

Now that this is my third post in the weekly adventure series, this means it's a trend, right?? It's fun to be banging out these little updates and I'm stoked for other content that is in the works and on its way!

Honestly this week wasn't super exciting, because it's one of the only weeks in September where I'm actually here in Toronto! I have some great travel plans coming up so I think I was hibernating in anticipation of everywhere that I'm off to. The long weekend was pretty relaxed and I allowed myself to lay low, nap, watch Drag Race, get my September group started and be very low key.


I did head down to Harbourfront for an awesome show with Sharron Matthews and Shawn Hitchins. They are two of my very favourite performers (and people!) in Toronto and it was a joy to see them onstage together. Shawn has a new book out called A Brief History of Oversharing and based on the story he shared from the book onstage, I think it's going to be a lot of fun to read. Really glad that I got to see the show and was an awesome night out.


I don't know if I've ever mentioned Impact Kitchen on the blog, but if you follow me on social media you've certainly seen me share my experiences there. It's so good! They use real food ingredients and their meals have a paleo focus. I love that I can go there and it always fits right into my style of eating. I treated myself to the paleo waffles and they were crispy, smothered in cashew cream and fruit and absolutely lovely. I can't wait until they open their location on the west side - even though it's going to be totally dangerous having it so much closer to me!


In other mundane news, I'm working on growing out my hair - so this teeny tiny ponytail made an appearance in my week. After having very short hair for the last two years, I'm ready for a bit of a change so my stylist is helping me to make the transition. This means that the back left side of my hair is longer than the right side and I sort of feel like an awkward teenager. We'll see if I last through actually growing it out into something longer!


I randomly ended up with a bag of puffed quinoa and I'm trying to sort out how to use it. So far it's just gone on top of yogurt, but I may try to recreate some puffed quinoa squares...

What I'm listening to: Everything Todrick Hall

Oh ehm gee -- what rock have I been living under??! Todrick Hall is giving me LIFE. What a phenomenal talent. His 90s mashups are just a small sample of what he does and I absolutely want to see him on broadway ASAP.

Quote of the week: Do something today your future self will thank you for


Next week I'll be coming at you from Wakefield, Quebec where my best friend will be getting married a week from today!! I am over the moon thrilled to see her and be a part of her very special day. Looking forward to a great adventure!

Happy Friday kittens xo


Weekly Adventures 9.1.17

Well, hello there September! You've certainly come in with a bang -- of cold air! I was out at a show last night and when I was leaving I was freezing in my summer dress, cardigan and bare legs. I hope that we still get to enjoy a blast of summer temperatures before it stays in that cooler range.

Happy September

Last weekend I enjoyed an end of summer tradition and went to the CNE!

Canadian National Exhibition

I've missed going over the last few years (probably 5 or 6!) and so it was a real treat to visit. I've been going to the CNE for as long as I can remember and have lots of fond memories of the end of the summer wave that hits me once I walk through those gates. We enjoyed some tasty food (I opted for cabbage rolls, which were delicious!), the Superdogs show, the cat show plus a whole lot of wandering in the sunshine. It was an awesome day and I'm glad that I went this year!

sriracha roasted cauliflower

This week I was mildly obsessed with roasted cauliflower. I picked up a giant head of Ontario cauliflower when I was doing my groceries and enjoyed it roasted with sriracha, gluten free tamari, garlic powder and sea salt. I don't think I'll be getting tired of it anytime soon!

eggwhite protein oats

I also rekindled my love of protein oats made with egg whites, cinnamon and vanilla with a dollop of cashew butter on the side. Such a great mid-morning meal!

ashley gibson toronto


I recently started watching RuPaul's Drag Race and am doing my very best to catch up on all the seasons and all of the Untucked episodes -- it's so awesome and I can't believe I haven't watched it up until now! A friend who was championing the show for me told me about this podcast and now I have a gazillion episodes to catch up on. I love Ru and Michelle's rapport, the topics they chat about and their perspective on the world.

Quote of the week: Replace excuses with effort

ashley gibson toronto

I've started a new workout program this week that's 30 minutes a day, every day and I've been challenging myself to get it done every morning no matter how I feel. Some days are better than others, but I know that I always feel better once I've done! Ditch the excuses, find a solid why and get it done.

I'm looking forward to enjoying a long weekend (it keeps catching me by surprise!) without any big plans. There's lots of fun and travel in store for September, so I'm going to take advantage of this very quiet weekend while everyone else is out of the city. As always, I'll be over on Instagram story-ing it up.

Happy September, friends xo

Weekly Adventures 8.25.17

I've been writing this blog for a long time, and steadily over the last few years I've been writing less and less. While I love writing, blogging always seems to be the last thing on my to-do list, and often I feel overwhelmed at the thought of creating something that's worthy of sharing. I've got draft upon draft of unfinished posts along with a laundry list of ideas written in notebooks and my planner that have never come into fruition

That ends now!


I miss blogging regularly, and so to force myself to get something in here at least once a week I'm starting a series tentatively titled "Weekly Adventures". In this post that I'll share on Fridays, I'll share some highlights from my week, along with things that I'm reading or doing, plus things that are inspiring me along the way. Part of what has stopped me from blogging previously is that I felt like my posts needed to be "about" something specific. This new series will take some of that pressure off, and give me an excuse to write and share more about my adventures. So here we go!

I feel like I'm sort of cheating to start this new series this week, since it was a pretty eventful one!

Over the weekend I attended canfitpro's World Fitness Expo once again, and got to work out with Shaun T and slip in for a meet and greet. He's always so inspiring and his workout was a doozy. This time I managed to contain my crying for just the workout and enjoyed every moment of the meet & greet.


On Sunday, I took a leap outside my comfort zone and completed my certification to become a CORE DE FORCE instructor!!


I got to attend the training with Joel and Jericho, and spent the day learning more about the program, the details of the movement, along with how to teach a live class. It pushed me mentally and physically, but I'm excited to keep learning and growing with the goal of teaching my first class before the end of 2017. Between Saturday's intense workout and Sunday's all-day training, on Monday everything hurt. Like, everything. Even muscles and body parts that I didn't know existed!!

What I'm listening to: Coldplay


On Tuesday I got to go to the Coldplay concert at the Skydome and it was phenomenal! They put on an amazing live show - I was honestly so impressed with everything from the set list, to the lighting / video, to the talent of all the musicians and their energy. I got to enjoy the show from a TV box, complete with space for a dance party and our own private washroom. It was a pretty special evening!

What I'm reading: Ashley Amplified
Thanks to Kelly from So She Glows for featuring me this week as part of her Patchwork Project.

Quote of the week: Be badass.
Badassery inspired by my instructor training and the incredible Joel & Jericho.



This was the first instalment of my weekly adventures!

While I've got a bunch of other posts in the works (including lessons learned from therapy and my break-up, my experience doing the ketogenic diet, the workouts I've been loving and more) I'd love to hear if you have anything you'd like me to write about! Message me here or find me on Instagram. Over there you can also follow along with my weekly adventures in real time as I share things in my Instagram Stories!

Have a great weekend!

xo

Toronto Fringe 2017

What's summer without the Toronto Fringe?


Year after year, the Toronto Fringe Festival is the event I look forward to most each summer. With 160 shows to choose from this year, it's set to be an amazing event From July 5-16, 2017.

This marks a new era for the Fringe with a brand new location for the Fringe tent (at Scadding Court at Bathurst & Dundas) and some new venues (including the Theatre Centre). It will be very strange to not be in the alley at Honest Ed's but the new venue is close to home and I'm sure we'll all transition nicely to the new space.


As always, there is some great pre-coverage popping up (including lists from Derrick Chua and Steve Fisher, whose opinions I trust!) and I'm starting to mark up my own program and make a game plan for my Fringe itinerary. I'm not in any shows this year, but I have been helping to do PR and social media for one. As someone who loves theatre and the Fringe, it's been great to be immersed in the press releases and all the buzz surrounding this year's shows.

About a week away, here's what I'm looking forward to:

Pineapple Club Toronto Fringe 2017
Katherine Fogler Photography
Pineapple Club (Factory Theatre Mainspace) - In getting ready to write this post, I pulled up my Fringe posts from the last couple of years, and lo and behold Dance Animal was at the very top of my 2016 list (and I loved it!) I started working with the team doing PR and social media a couple of months ago. In this time, I've gotten to see a behind-the-scenes peek into Dance Animal Director / Choreographer Robin Henderson's process as she's worked with Paul Barnes, Jonathan Shaboo and Pascale Yensen to create this brand new show. It's part comedic dance, part sketch comedy and part social commentary -- which is such a great mix. This team is incredibly talented and I can't wait to see this show come into fruition.

Not Enough (Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace) - Another name that has popped up on my Fringe lists over the years has been Megan Phillips. We connected years ago through a message board, and I'm so glad that she makes the journey to Toronto each year to be a part of the Fringe. I got to see this show last year when she was previewing it here before taking it across Canada, and it's a funny, candid take on change, forgiveness and becoming enough.

Soaring in Liquid Skies (Theatre Pass Muraille Backspace) - I've had the chance to see Franco Nguyen do sketch and standup a few times recently, and he is a fantastic, charismatic performer with a unique point of view of the world.

Maddie's Karaoke Birthday Party (The Monarch Tavern) - Add some of my favourite performers in the city with one of my favourite pastimes and that's a show that's right up my alley.

James & Jamesy in the Dark (Al Green Theatre) - I got to have tea onstage with James & Jamesy a few years ago at Fringe, and nearly peed myself from laughing. I'm pumped to see them back and this new show, set entirely in the dark, sounds like it's going to be something completely unique, hilarious and magical.

Other shows I'm looking forward to: Bendy Sign Tavern - Sex T-Rex is another Fringe favourite of mine and I'm excited to see them jump into a rom-com with puppets in a bar, Weaksauce - Sam Mullins is one of my favourite storytellers and this show was charming when I saw it a few years ago, Contagious - love this premise and another solid creative team, True North Mixtape - I was obsessed with Summerland 2 years ago, so this is absolutely on my list, Jay and Shilo's Sibling Revelry - while it's made for kids, the story sounds adorable and I'm a huge Jeni Walls and Justin Bott fan, and Ten Creative Ways to Dispose of Your Cremains - which I had no idea about until I saw it on every list under the sun and it has caught my attention!

As word of mouth starts to spread my list will be constantly changing and evolving, but I can't wait to dive into 10 days of talent, frolicking from theatre to theatre and seeing all of my theatre friends (and random people I know) in the Fringe tent.

If you'd like to follow along with my adventures, I'll be tweeting away @ashleydtl (I think Fringe is one of the only reasons I keep my Twitter going...) and posting on my Instagram story (also @ashleydtl)


Grab yourself a Fringe program and take the time to see a show (or 4!) from July 5 - 16. All ticket sales go back to the artists involved and be sure to take a moment to tip the Fringe.

What are you looking forward to this Fringe?