Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you and yours.

I wish you a brilliant day filled with wonderful people, magic, delicious food and a whole lotta love.

Last night I had the pleasure of celebrating Christmas with Lindsay and her familia and friends with dinner and a heated Kris Kringle game. Lindsay's mum had requested that we sing Wintersong, which is her favourite... so here it is a capella, complete with a gorgeous & gigantic Christmas tree, Christmas cracker crowns and Lindsay and I being giddy at the opportunity to sing together



I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend my Christmas Eve. I am looking forward to spending the day with even more wonderful family and friends and wish the same for you xo

Before this and after this - Intention setting for 2013

We're drawing close to the end of 2012 and with that comes reflection on the year that has passed, and looking ahead to what is to come. Setting intentions has been a theme in my life over the last few days in things I've been reading (like Meghan's latest blog post) and in a big conversation I had with a group of my girlfriends over the weekend.

It's interesting to me because I've felt like for the last three years that around December I've looked back on the previous 12 months and attributed them to be intertwined with a whole lot of transition. At the beginning of 2012 I felt like I was in a really solid spot - in a job that I loved, a part time job that I felt passionate about, performing a lot, healthy, happy, surrounded by amazing people and about to take a life-changing trip. Now that I can reflect on the year, I can see how much transition I've experienced once again since leaving both of those jobs, having an entire summer off, bouncing around between Toronto, New York, Las Vegas and St. Lucia and having the pleasure (and sometimes pain) of having amazing people come in and out of my life.

Sometimes I feel as though my life should be a movie (hello, Truman Show?) and when I tell people about the things that happen to me they tend to draw that conclusion on their own. I think this has a lot to do with my say yes to life (even though it may devour you) mentality. I try to be incredibly open to whatever experience life throws my way and embrace it as best I can. Sometimes this is absolutely spectacular, and other times it can be really painful, but these collective experiences have made me the person that I am today.

When I was chatting with my girlfriends about what they wanted 2013 to be about for them, I encountered a wide variety of answers: travel, learning, stability. I joked that I wanted 2013 to be "the year that doesn't suck". While I really don't believe that any of my years on this planet have sucked, some have definitely had more challenges than others. Upon further reflection, I've decided to embrace the transition and immeasurable experiences life has thrown me in the last few years and make 2013 the year of Serendipity.

I am going to continue to laugh loudly, dream passionately and love completely, because these qualities have brought me so much joy, wonder, happiness and love into my life. Even the things that have brought me immense sadness have taught me something about life and myself. While embracing serendipity may sound like a passive approach to life, I think I will just continue to go forward with passion, ambition and drive, but really work to enjoy everything else that comes along the way. The year of serendipity will allow me to ease into whatever transition I may encounter and enjoy the happy accidents that come my way.

There is a big project that is already in the works for 2013 that is going to push me emotionally and creatively. I can't wait to share details with you and am already working hard behind the scenes to make it happen. There will be a blog and social media component alongside a performance component and I hope that it will raise awareness and help me to honor someone very special and the impact that they have had on my life. It's going to be amazing.

I saw a quote on Pinterest recently that said "There are moments in life when you realize nothing will ever be the same and time is divided into two parts, before this and after this". I look at the events of the last few years and all of the transition that has occurred and recognize how much that quote resonates with all of that. Everything has brought me to the place I am today and everything that has happened has been a catalyst for other things and people and moments. I have more reflecting to do on 2012, but I am ready for the serendipitous year 2013 is going to be.

What kind of intentions are you setting for 2013?

Did you see My Party Dress?

Did you see my party dress?

 

If you're a friend or reader of this a blog, or follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you've probably already figured out that I'm rather notorious for being in a dress or a skirt pretty much all the time. I've always been girly, but in the last 3 or so years my style has been punctuated with a whole lot of femininity and not many pairs of pants. For me dresses are an everyday thing, but I do still have a lot of fun daydreaming about ball gowns or just getting dressed up for special occasions.

With December being the crazy social month that it is, I've happily had quite a few opportunities to throw on some of my favourite party dresses, beginning with last weekend's show at Buddies. The grey dress with the sparkled sash was a purchase from Banana Republic last year. It's one of my favourite winter dresses, but this year I managed to forget how itchy it is on the inside!! By the end of the night I was pouting and couldn't wait to get it off - this is a personal reminder to wear a camisole underneath the dress to avoid being so uncomfortable next time!

This past weekend involved 4 parties over the course of two days. With a whole lot of rest in the middle, I felt up for the challenge! On Friday night I decided to go really retro with one of my favourite dresses from Damzels


Whenever anyone asks me where I like to shop in Toronto, I point them towards Damzels. Kelly and Rory are two amazing women, who have this gorgeous shop filled with amazing dresses, skirts, shoes, accessories and other fun items. I always leave their store feeling joyous and always receive incredible customer service whenever I visit. They carry some awesome lines as well as creating their own line seasonally. I bought this dress a couple years ago for my birthday and it has been getting great wear ever since! On Friday I paired it with some 40's inspired Isaac Mizrahi from Target heels and a red belt for a pop of colour for a delightful tree trimming party, complete with some incredible mulled wine.

Up until about 6:07pm on Saturday night, I was convinced that I was going to wear another Damzels dress, but had a last minute change of heart and wanted to wear something a bit more sparkly


I opted for this BB Dakota dress that I picked up last year after falling in love with it on Elsie's blog. I happened upon it one day at Tabula Rasa and had to have it! I kept it simple with some nude fishnets, nude heels and a couple of sparkly jewelry pieces before dashing off to 3 parties that night. By the end of the evening I was completely wiped, but had a lot of fun with friends and coworkers celebrating the holiday season!

And even did my worst best dinosaur impression


Maybe I'll just stick to singing. 

With a couple more weeks of December still to come, I'm looking forward to a few more opportunities to pull out my party dresses and enjoy some festive cheer! 

How do you feel about dressing up? Do you have any favourite shops?

The video of My Party Dress was shot at the very first Ashleyx2 cabaret way back in September 2010, but I've only just added the video! The song is by Kerrigan and Lowdermilk and I'm sure that less than 10 people on the planet have actually seen me in pants on a regular basis. Hope you liked the video!

Goals for December

After a busy day of singing on Saturday, I enjoyed an incredibly relaxed day on Sunday which included watching Gross Point Blank on the couch, eating gluten free pancakes and sipping tea whilst writing in my journal


It's been nearly a year since I left Weight Watchers, but I often associate certain times of year with things I would do with my members. December is always a tough month for anyone trying to lose weight with so many social activities, tempting foods and booze popping up everywhere. I was always a big advocate of setting small, realistic goals for December to help stay on track and give everyone something positive to focus on amid the frenzy. 

So I decided to utilize my own advice. 


After writing them in my journal on Sunday night, I posted a list of some realistic goals to focus on in the month of December. I have to say, that so far things are going really well! I've already surpassed my goal of walking to work at least 3x/week and am drinking lots of water and eating mindfully. I did a great spin class last night and have some more workouts planned for the rest of the week. 

I know that the next few weeks are going to get even more insane, with lots of social gatherings, pot lucks and a performance, but I'm happy to have these goals to keep me in line! They're also nice things I can do to take care of myself. While it's only a 10 minute subway ride to work, taking the extra time to walk gives me a moment to breathe and clear my head. Self care is definitely a really good thing!

I feel awesome about having these goals for the month and look forward to continuing to work at them! I'm also really excited about some cool things I have planned for my workouts coming up. The awesome people at Beach Body are going to be sending me a couple of their programs to review! I've watched a few friends have some amazing results with their programs which has been really inspiring. I'm going to be starting with 10 Minute Trainer in December, and then in January I'm going to start Insanity. Not gonna lie, I'm mildly terrified for Insanity, but I feel like I'm up for the challenge. Shaun T seems like a pretty cool dude, but I know he's going to kick my ass. 

What are some of your goals for December?

Singing with Lindsay

Meet Lindsay.


I am so blessed to call this gal one of my dearest friends. We first met through Weight Watchers way back in 2008 and both of us knew that we would fall in love and be great friends. It started with dinner and an Idina Menzel concert and took off from there. 

Lindsay was one of the few people brave enough to cook for me when I started my elimination diet and changed my diet so drastically. She went on a mission to make me gluten free things that were delicious and wonderful, even making gluten free pita one night when I was coming over for dinner. She has since gone on to be a bit of an expert in gluten free bread baking, even teaching a class in Meghan's kitchen (which I was lucky enough to attend in the spring!)


oh yes, that is gluten free

She is the cutest teacher and everything was so yummy. I've made her gluten free chapati quite a few times because they're super easy and delicious!!

I'm also ecstatic to be one of her bridesmaids for her wedding in June!! It was actually at her bread baking class that she officially asked me to be in her wedding party and we certainly lived up to our hashtag of #twosquealingsopranos. Bridesmaid planning has been a blast so far and I'm over-the-moon thrilled for her big day in the summer.

Lindsay is also a beautiful opera singer and voice teacher, and we've had the opportunity to sing together a few times, which is just the most fun. We had the chance to share the stage again this weekend at Buddies for Singing Strong's Holiday Magic cabaret.


I've probably said it before, but singing with people you love is one of the best feelings in the world. This show was no exception. While we didn't do a duet this time around, it was still so magical to be onstage with her and also get to watch her perform. 

Lindsay is such an exceptional person and I am so thankful for the opportunity to sing with her, cook with her and most of all, call her one of my best friends.

My love for brunch and Sun in Bloom

Brunch is quite possibly one of my favourite meals of the day. Usually later in the day, with a good mix of sweet or savory options, brunch often feels more luxurious than its earlier and later counterparts. In Toronto we're lucky to have a great selection of veg friendly brunch options (including Lady Marmalade, Live and Grapefruit Moon), but when I'm in New York, brunch feels extra special because I can go to Sun in Bloom.



Sun in Bloom is the kinda place that I wish was around the corner from me, and if I lived in New York, it likely would be (Park Slope is pretty neat). It feels warm, welcoming and cozy, without feeling too small. I adore the giant windows where the sunshine beams in, the exposed brick and its large wooden tables complete with fresh blooms. The gluten free vegan fare is innovative and delicious, with many options for people with all types of dietary restrictions and palates.


The very first time I experienced Sun in Bloom was in June, when I was in New York for the Jonathan Reid Gealt workshop series. The restaurant came highly recommended, so I trekked from Spanish Harlem to Brooklyn on a Sunday morning before class to finally experience it. 


It was absolutely worth the trip. While everything on the menu looked incredible, I opted for the 'staff favorite' BLT, complete with avocado and shitake bacon. Wrapped in a collard leaf, with no meat in sight, it was definitely different than the traditional incarnation of the sandwich, but still amazing, especially when paired with yummy greens and parsnip hash. 


With a banana cupcake to go? Holy awesometown. It didn't even make it to class with me, I definitely ate it on the subway, because I'm classy like that.

After raving about Sun in Bloom to everyone who would listen, I knew that I had to bring friends there on my next visit to NYC. Enter: Rebecca!


In addition to being another redheaded, singing lass, Rebecca is also gluten free and vegetarian, which made Sun in Bloom the perfect place for her too. On my second visit, I tried the gluten free brunch tart filled with shitake bacon, butternut squash and caramelized onions


Just fantastic. Seriously. 

The gluten free crust was delicious and flaky, and the highlight ingredients of the tart were generously distributed amid the dish. Once again, the greens and parsnips were a yummy touch and I left brunch a very happy girl. It was great to be able to introduce Rebecca to such a magical place and it was a lot of fun to catch up with her in a whole other city. 


And of course I had to get a strawberry shortcake cupcake for later.
Probably one of the best gluten free vegan cupcakes I've ever had.
I kid you not. 

It's been a couple of months since I've been in New York and as I write this I'm longing for the buzz of the city. Sun in Bloom has become a familiar, comfortable place, and I can't wait to get back. 

Where do you like to go for brunch? Any fav spots in New York?

30 Days of Compassion

"Compassion isn't some kind of self-improvement project or ideal that we're trying to live up to. Having compassion starts and ends with having compassion for all those unwanted parts of ourselves, all those imperfections that we don't even want to look at." ~Pema Chodron

My beautiful friend Dani from Enlightened Life is currently hosting "30 Days of Compassion", and I've got to say there's some pretty fantastic stuff happening on that page. Dani has started this movement to encourage others to find compassion in their daily lives, both towards others and themselves. 


Everybody has a story, and 30 Days of Compassion is encouraging all of us to stop making negative assumptions about those around us, to show kindness to one another and also show ourselves the respect we deserve. 

So proud of Dani for putting this out into the universe and would love for all of you to pass it along as well!

It's beginning to look a lot like...

The holiday season is upon us once again. The days are getting chillier...

earmuffs required
Holt Renfrew and The Bay's holiday windows are installed, Starbucks red cups (and Joy tea!!) are in full force, Christmas music is starting to pop up (everywhere but Shoppers Drug Mart) and finally last weekend, the Santa Claus Parade made its way through the streets of Toronto.


I kinda love the holiday season and I'm getting excited for some great events happening in the next few weeks, including some events where I'll be singing!

I'm thrilled to be participating in another Singing Strong 'Cabaret for a Cause'. Proceeds from this holiday themed evening will be donated back to Buddies in Bad Times Theatre and I'm looking forward to sharing the stage with an amazing group of talented performers, including the lovely Lindsay!

Linz & I at last year's Cabaret for a Cause
Thursday December 13th - HoHoTO 
HoHoTO is a huge holiday-themed party to raise funds for the Daily Bread Food Bank. This annual event has been going on since 2008, and has raised more than $165,000 and collected more than four tonnes of food for Torontonians in need. I think it's pretty amazing that something that started as a conversation over Twitter has turned into such a successful fundraiser for an incredibly worthy cause. 



I'm really excited to be a part of this amazing project that Tara has been working on. William Finn writes insanely beautiful and moving music, and Tara has collected a stellar group of performers and musicians to bring his music to life. It's sure to be a wonderful evening and we'd love to have you there. 

I love singing Christmas carols, and last year I had the most wonderful time sipping a warm beverage and singing carols in harmony alongside a brass quintet and organ. Canada Sings is a really neat organization that encourages people to partake in the joy of music, and the holiday season is a ridiculously fun time to do so!

Links include more details and ticket information. I can't wait for all of these events and would love to see you there too!

What are you looking forward to over the holiday season? Do you have any events that are now a tradition for you to attend?


Drumroll please...

and the winner of the giveaway for a spot in Meghan's new Foods for Healing course is...

Vivian!

Congratulations! I've sent your details along and you'll get information about the course soon from the sweet gals over at Meghan's.

Still interested all the goodness packed into Foods for Healing? Don't forget that you use the code "dancingthroughlife" to get 10% off your registration! Today is the day, go check it out!!

Meghan Telpner's Foods for Healing

I was talking to some people in my office the other day about the way that I eat and the reasons why I do it. As I was talking about getting rid of gluten and dairy, I realize that it has been 4 years since my diagnosis with Crohn's Disease and more than three and a half years since I transitioned my diet to a version of what it is now.

Food has played a huge role in my healing, and I know that I wouldn't be where I am today had I not made the decision to start seeing a naturopath rather than injecting myself with lots of medication. Along the way I had people tell me I was crazy, making restrictive choices and that I should probably eat a steak once in awhile to stay healthy. I decided to ignore those people and do what made sense to me, and four years later, I am symptom-free. Not too shabby for a disease that has no cure. 

As I've mentioned many times before, someone who has played a HUGE role in this journey has been my favourite nutritionista, Meghan Telpner. I discovered Meghan's blog soon after my diagnosis, treated myself to some cooking classes and she's been a wonderful, sparkly fixture in my life ever since. It's been incredible to watch and be a part of so many of her amazing projects and initiatives, and I was even more excited for her to announce her brilliant new Foods for Healing course.


Foods for Healing details from Meghan:

1 in 5 North Americans suffer from serious digestive distress. Most of our modern health challenges have some level of inflammation involved. I personally, spent years suffering from serious digestive issues until in 2006, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease.

I have heard from so many of you asking what I did, what I ate, how I healed, and then how I worked with my dad to help him kick cancer, and how I have worked with hundreds of clients to get them on their own health train. I am thrilled to be able to share this information with you!

 Foods For Healing is a course I began teaching here in my kitchen to groups of 20 at a time. As the demand grew, I couldn't stretch my kitchen any further and so we have created this unbelievable course. We had people flying in from across North America to get to this workshop as there is currently nothing like it available.

This course will explain from start to finish the path of disease, how these imbalances can take over in our mind and body and then what you can do about it. The information included empowers you to take ownership over your health, and learn how with certain foods and specific nutrients, you can play an active role in your own healing- or simply in maintaining optimal health.

The course includes: 
Over two hours of lecture style teaching with images, diagrams, and incredibly easy to follow explanations.
Accompanying handouts of the slides to follow along and take notes.
Additional documentation offering detailed information on specific healing protocols.
8 cooking demonstration videos showing how you can put what I share in the lecture, into practice in your kitchen and in everyday eating.
A full 7 day meal plan + over 30 recipes.
A full transition plan to help ease your way into a foods for healing mind set.
Options to upgrade and get consultations and amazing kitchen equipment.
Completely secure access to all your course materials.
Flexibility to watch the videos and download the print materials at your convenience.
Lifetime access to the course materials.

This course is suitable for: 
Individuals dealing with everyday common/acute conditions like frequent colds/flus, PMS, headaches, low energy, insomnia etc.
Individuals facing long term, chronic health challenges including inflammatory conditions like arthritis, asthma, IBS and IBD as well as heart disease or cancer.
Individuals looking to build up their farm based medicine cabinet, looking for natural solutions to common health challenges.
Natural health practitioners wanting therapeutic foods to play a more powerful role in your patient’s protocols.
Students or recent graduates of nutrition programs who feel there was a healing foods component missing from the curriculum.
Yoga teachers, osteopaths, chiropractors, trainers and other physical health experts looking to better support the progress of clients.

The Curriculum:
This program literally covers the full spectrum of information including the physical aspects of health and disease, the emotional connection, and how food and lifestyle can play an important role in the healing. Divided into nine modules with a bonus section of “Tools”, the course materials has been broken down in easy to follow parts.

Module 1: My story and how I healed.
Module 2: Understanding the root of inflammation, food as medicine.
Module 3: The role of the digestive system in total health, managing stress and it’s impact
Module 4: Making the connection with food, conscious eating, assessing common dietary recommendations.
Module 5: General guidelines for eating for health and healing, the universal approach to health.
Module 6: Specific therapeutic foods for healing, dietary recommendations for the three stages of healing, specific nutrients for healing.
Module 7: Lifestyle habits and natural solutions.
Module 8: Healing beverages, therapeutics foods in practice, cooking demos
Module 9: Healing meals, therapeutic foods in practice, cooking demos
Tools: Meal plan, recipes, transition guideline.

---

Whether you have a specific health concern or just feel like you need a bit of a tune up, this course has the potential to be totally game-changing for you. Meghan's style is ridiculously fun and easy to follow, the recipes are delicious (recipes from Meghan's classes are still staples in my kitchen), and you'll feel inspired and motivated to change your life. As someone who has healed a disease through diet and lifestyle, I can't recommend this course enough. Now is the time. No day but today.

Registration for Foods for Healing begins Friday November 9th, and as one of Meghan's affiliates, I'm able to offer you a 10% discount off the price of the course when you enter the coupon code "dancingthroughlife" at the checkout! So happy to be able to make it more cost effective for you to register and get your healing going. What are you waiting for!?

I'm also giving away one registration for the course!! For a chance to WIN, leave me a comment below telling me who has inspired you in your life so far. This is open to anyone worldwide. Contest closes at 11:59pm EST on Saturday November 10 and the winner will be announced on the blog on Monday November 12. Good luck!

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween lovelies!!

Halloween is such a wonderful time of year. I celebrated over the weekend with a little costume action (and an appearance by the ever adorable, Rebecca)



and some delicious cupcakes



I'm hoping to score some extra brownie points at my new office by bringing some gluten vegan Twix and peanut butter cups to the office today. Holy. Yum.

Annnnnnnd after today, back to green juice and salads for me. And a little visit to the gym tonight.

Other amazing Halloween fun:




  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show is one of my all-time favourite movies, so I'm mega stoked to be seeing (and dressing up for) The Rocky Horror Show tonight! Fallenrock is an awesome company, the cast is AMAZING (including my sweet Ashley as Columbia) and proceeds from the show go to POGO. So. Much. Win. There are $15 rush tickets available tonight's 10pm show as well as $20 seats for the rest. The show runs until Saturday and you can check purchase tickets online. What kind of Halloween is it if you're not doing the Time Warp?! Don't dream it. Be it. 
  • Maddie. And her Halloween costumes bring me far too much joy. They're so good.
  • More fall and Halloween and pumpkin goodness over on Pinterest
  • Roomie pumpkin carving

you are a cupcake pixie from a magic land


pumpkin grunge nouveau


What did you get up to for Halloween? Were there any special treats? Did you dress up?

Being a part of The Human Canvas Project

Apparently 2012 is going to be the year that I'm just constantly covered in paint. It started with the paint fight at Art of the Danforth and has now extended into being painted as part of the Human Canvas Project.

before
I found out about the project after seeing cool photos pop up in various friends' Facebook timelines and chatting with my sweet friend Rebecca about her experiences being painted. I contacted Matti, and coincidentally he was looking for an Aries to paint as part of a Zodiac series.


I met Matti for the first time before he painted me. We talked a little bit about Aries characteristics, I got to pick my colours and a playlist and then the art started to unfold.

Being painted was really lovely. Matti and I discussed our love of the saddest songs on most albums, how the project has evolved into something bigger than he originally anticipated and various pieces of our lives. I had no idea what the finished product was going to look like, but just enjoyed the act of having someone create art on me and felt really at ease.


I love the way it turned out. I think Matti capture my personality as well as elements of my star sign. 


Definitely a fun project to be a part of. I may have found various paint splotches on me for a couple days while I discovered the spots I missed... 


The Human Canvas Project is hosting a gallery opening this weekend where you can see 100 portraits of those who have been painted.


Be open to whatever comes next ~ John Cage

Tales from my Bucket List

We lose ourselves in the things we love; We find ourselves there too 
~ Kristin Martz

I found this quote on Pinterest recently and it really resonated with me. I have been so lucky to have some amazing opportunities to do what I love and learn so much about myself in the process, and last Friday and Saturday proved to be no different.

Ash and I were lucky enough to be putting on our fourth cabaret in the last two years. When we started tossing around themes for this show, the idea of our dream roles and shows popped up and thus began The Bucket List show.We wanted to choose songs that reflected a mix of things that we had already accomplished on our bucket lists, some of our dream roles as well as those things on our bucket lists that we have yet to accomplish. I wanted to write this post to share the back stories to some of the songs I chose for the show.

Please note - we've yet to sort through the video footage, so I've linked to some of my favourite versions of other people singing them

Come Down from the Tree

I initially chose this song because I've wanted to sing it for quite awhile and it's from a show called Once on this Island, so I was going to be able to easily tie it into some of the travel I've done already, specifically my trip to St. Lucia. The more I sang it and talked to Tara about it, the more I realized how much it really applied to my life and the changes that came as a result of St. Lucia. The song is about asking someone to make tough changes out of a safe, comfortable, familiar place. And while sometimes that's quite scary, it is also really rewarding. Sometimes you gotta step out of your comfort zone, and often the things on your bucket list enable you to do just that.

Climbing Uphill

The Last Five Years and pretty much anything by Jason Robert Brown is absolutely on my bucket list. Continuing to be onstage is definitely on my bucket list and there are definitely some things that I still need to do while up there! One of the joys/downfalls of performing can be the audition process and all the factors that work for/against you in the casting process! This song really depicts the ups and the downs of what can happen in the audition room and it is so much fun to sing for that reason.

I Wish I May

When you're young, dreams seem limitless. We are unafraid to dream big and us our imaginations. Somewhere along the course of life, many people lose that sense of wonder. I don't believe that needs to be the case. We sang this song to reflect on the way it used to be and encourage our audience to continue aspiring to great, big, wonderful dreams, especially with regards to their bucket lists.

My Book

Writing a book is up high on my bucket list. That's probably obvious, considering that I've been writing this blog for 4 years now. Jeff Blumenkrantz's song is hilarious (and challenging to sing) and was a super addition to the show in sharing that item from my list.

Remember Me

I fell in love with this song the very first time I heard it. I had done another Michael John LaChuisa song in class and after doing some more research on his music I found Remember Me. The song is about the impact we have on others, but really the impact they have on us. "The only way we live beyond our lives is to connect, and carve ourselves into the souls of those we love". I surprised Ashley at our first show my dedicating this song to her. She has had a profound impact on my life and I am so thankful for her friendship and the fact that we get to do what we love together.

The Story Goes On

This song grew on me the more I sang it. With people around me getting married and having babies, it has been a constant reminder of "growing up" and what's to come. I know that one day I do want to get married and have a child. I know that there are a lot of things I am setting out to accomplish first, and I'm not there just yet, but I will be. The Story Goes On is about the legacy that we leave through our children and how we enable the story to "go on".

Falling Slowly

If you were at the first night of the show, you're probably thinking - the Ashleys didn't sing Falling Slowly at their cabaret?! Unfortunately due to time constraints, we had to cut in on the first night. For me, that made it even more special on the second night. I love the movie and the musical Once and I've said a few times that it is on my bucket list to sing Falling Slowly with someone that I love. I love Ashley, so it was perfect. I had goosebumps and tears when we sang this together. It was pretty magical. So happy we crossed it off my list.

One of my favourite parts of the show was having our audience members write down items from their bucket lists for us to share


Their answers were inspiring, hilarious and awesome. Lots of travel, adventures and big dreams. I think my favourite was "Colin Farrell". 


Definitely not a bad thing to have on your bucket list. 

I can't wait to share video from the shows with you very soon! For now I hope you enjoyed gaining some insight into my bucket list as well as why I chose some of the songs for the show!

What are some things on your bucket list that you've already accomplished? What's still to come?

Giving thanks

It was Canadian Thanksgiving yesterday and whilst sitting in my favourite coffee shop, I found myself reflecting on all the things in my life I have to be thankful for.



Wonderful friends and familia
My health
Amazing housemates and a fantastic place to call home
A successful two night run of my show with my beautiful & talented best friend
More opportunities to sing and do what I love in the coming months
Starting a new job tomorrow(!)

I am grateful for all of this and all the little things that make my life pretty stellar. 


I celebrated Thanksgiving with a yummy lunchy of lentil loaf and kale salad


I used a bit more flour in the lentil loaf and omitted the breadcrumbs and it turned out great. Reminded me of Thanksgiving stuffing, which is one of my favourite things. I can't wait to eat leftovers of the kale salad all week; the dressing is divine and kale is always wonderful.

There were also pumpkin tarts...


I had plans to share them with friends (like the lovely Rebecca!) over the course of the week, and tarts are just a little easier to transport than pie.



They turned out really well and were given a definite thumbs up from all who gave them a go.

Very thankful. Very nourished. Very happy.





Can't sleep. Too much singing to do.

It's currently 12:36am. I've been trying to sleep since 10pm.

I've gotten up a couple of times, chatted with my roomies, checked the twitter, ran through the words of my songs, but no sleep. I'm like a kid on friggin' Christmas all because the next Ashleyx2 show happens in less than 24 hours.


It's crazy to think that Ash and I have now produced 4 of these shows in the last 2 years. It started as an idea, then after a huge brainstorming session at her cottage we made it a reality.



The theme of the show is The Bucket List, and next week I'm going to write a post about what inspired me to choose the songs I'm singing and how they relate to my bucket list. I'm excited to share the songs we've chosen with our audiences tomorrow and Saturday.

The past 6 months have been a whirlwind, and I'm just feeling blessed that I get to be onstage for the next two days with one of my very best friends, our incredible music director and a kick ass guitarist, singing some beautiful music and telling some great stories.


And probably having a lot of fun. 



If you're in Toronto tonight or tomorrow, we'd love to have you join us at the Pubaret for There's Just Something About Ashley - The Bucket List. You can grab a ticket online for $10 or buy one at the door for $15. 

The Belleville Roadtrip

Remember that time I went to Ottawa for a bachelorette? This past weekend it was time for Laura to take the walk down the aisle to say "I do" in her hometown of Belleville, Ontario. And what does that mean for those of us who don't live in Belleville?

ROAD TRIP!


The awesome folks at Infiniti lent us a gorgeous 2013 Infiniti M37x sport to make the drive in (and spread the #infinitilove), which was pretty much all kinds of amazing. I brought Fab Detox friendly snacks, the car did lots of snazzy things, SiriusXM & Justin's iTunes provided the soundtrack and Justin took care of the driving business and we were off! 




The drive really made me realize that fall really is here. The trees along the road were definitely screaming AUTUMN. Speaking of trees, the 'forest air' setting in the car kept us incredibly comfortable over the course of our drive.



We were also really impressed with its fuel economy. The M is a pretty large car, but handled gas really well whilst rocking eco mode. 


We spent some time visiting with my Nan (grandmother), her husband, my uncle and cousins before heading off to the wedding. 

Laura was to be the third generation in her family who got married at this particular Anglican church in Belleville, which was really special. She looked STUNNING. 


I found myself getting teary as I watched her come down the aisle, thinking about how much has changed since we were 11 year olds in the 6th grade. I thought about how much my mum would have loved to know that Laura was getting married and how beautiful she looked. She and her new husband have been together for 10 years and their love is truly inspiring. I wish them nothing but happiness in this new chapter of life together!! It was such an honour to be a part of their special day. 

The reception was held at a local country club, and Justin and I had a blast with Laura and Jon's friends who we were sitting with. I think we were the loudest table and we fit right into that mix. It was also really great to see Laura's friend Kristy, who was part of the bridal party. She's so much fun too!


Thanks to the bride's taste in music, there was a lot of Backstreet Boys and Spice Girl dancing action amid the traditional wedding dances and a whole lotta country and top 40. It was a very fun evening!




On Sunday morning we spent some more time with my familia before heading back to Toronto. I managed to snap some pictures of the beautiful yellow roses that Nan has planted on her front lawn for my mum, as they were her favourite flowers. 


It was a sweet little visit to Belleville


but definitely always good to come home


I'm thrilled that we were able to be in Belleville for Laura's big day! Thanks again to the Infiniti team for lending us such a sweet ride. It made our trip that much more awesome, smooth and entertaining and I really appreciate it!!