Shut Your Eyes And Sing To Me

In 2006, I was very much in love with a boy from Scotland.

We met through some friends on an evening filled with debauchery right before New Year’s Eve 2005. We ended up having a whirlwind week together before he headed back to Glasgow. One of the nights that week he showed me the video for Run.

He later went on to say that I didn’t seem particularly impressed by the video or the band, but I think it was because I was more enamoured by his charm and Scottish accent. When we parted ways, he left me with a list of books I needed to read and cd’s I needed to listen to with Snow Patrol’s Final Straw at the very top of the list.

While I loved every song on that album, Run became a bit of an anthem for me and Snow Patrol entered into constant rotation. I was thrilled when they soon released Eyes Open and I got to see them live in Toronto sometime before my big EuroTrip (with an extra long stay in Glasgow). I got to see them twice during that tour which solidified them as one of my favourite bands.

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Last night I got to attend their show at Massey Hall in support of their new album, Fallen Empires. This album has been my favourite since Eyes Open and I’ve been giddy for weeks in anticipation of the show. Mel and I have always gone to their shows together and it was so special to be there once again in the front row of the balcony, loving every second.

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The set list was perfect, with a wonderful mix of old and new. I was so excited when I heard the intro to every song and sang along, harmonized and danced all the way through the show. I found myself getting choked up during Chocolate, which kind of threw me off. Yes, I’m emotional, but it’s one of the more upbeat songs and I thought it would come during Run? Maybe Chasing Cars? Even New York? Upbeat, but there’s a whole lot of history there.

Hearing that song live took me back to that place 6 years ago and all those incredible memories. This could be the very minute I’m aware I’m alive, all these places feel like home. So much has changed and I’ve grown a lot in 6 years, but that time really holds a special place in my heart. The Scottish boy came back to Toronto late that summer and we enjoyed another couple awesome weeks together. I poured my heart out to him at the end of it all, but being on two different continents for an undetermined length of time meant that it wasn’t going to work. It was sad when he went back home, but I picked up the pieces and kept moving forward.

A part of me sometimes wonders “what if…?” but I’m pretty confident that everything worked out the way it was supposed to. I have him to thank for the beginnings of my love affair with a fantastic band, a whole lot of fun in Toronto and in Glasgow and my appreciation of the word whilst.

So thankful to have attended such a brilliant show last night with one of my very best friends evoking awesome memories from a wonderful time in my life.

A Very Happy Birthday Gal, Everywhere You Look

This weekend marked the beginning of another year in my 20's, and I feel so blessed to have spent it with some of my most favourite people, in some of the coolest places, doing some of my absolute favourite things!!

Saturday was just all around awesome. I started off with a great spin class and then spent the afternoon relaxing and blissing out with my little sister at Body Blitz. I. Love. That. Place! I always leave feeling 100x more relaxed and happy and joyous. I can't wait until they open their east end location!

Saturday night involved copious amounts of sushi, a great playlist, amazing cake from LPK'S Culinary Groove, beautiful friends and a Full House puzzle.

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The Full House puzzle was an amazing gift from Ashley and after I dumped it out on the floor we had no choice but to spend the next hour putting it together.

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When's the last time you did a puzzle without your grandma?!

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You got it dude.

Other sweet gifts included fun sparkly things, hair bows and this perfect notebookIMG_1517

They know me too well… We followed up the house shenanigans with a trip to The Boat for Chronologic where we danced like no one was watchin’. They start off with music from the 1890’s and play songs all the way up to the present day, spending a whole lot of time in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. It was all sorts of amazing and I laughed, smiled and squealed the night away.

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There were Ashley’s galore, my little sister, Charlie’s Angels, friends, roomates, my high school sweetheart and complete strangers who did things like sing happy birthday to me and/or buy me drinks.

My actual birthday was Sunday and I had a wonderful day with more people that I adore, wonderful food (including a stellar dinner at Hogtown Vegan), flowers, sweet gifts, sunshine and a birthday nap. The birthday goodness continued into Monday with beautiful flowers and cards from my awesometown team at work.

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I am a very happy girl.

Thank you to everyone who was a part of such a wonderful weekend of joy including everyone’s awesome messages on the Twitter and Facebook! I am so very excited for the year ahead!

In the spirit of my birth week and fun outings… I’m giving away a pair of tickets to DefineTO happening this Thursday April 12 at the Fifth. DefineTO is encouraging people to “be the exception, not the rule” by being passionate, fearless and social and using social media to spread good and connect the awesome people of Toronto. The proceeds of the event will be going to The Remix Project.

In order to win, go follow DefineTO on the Twitter and then tweet “Hey @ashleydtl I wanna be the exception, not the rule and support @theremixproject @defineTO” I’ll be choosing one winner after 5pm today from all the twitter entries. Good luck!

In With Love, Out With Fear

We stop breathing when we think things are too hard

Oh shit. I’m totally not breathing.

I found myself in a really crowded yoga class last night and I just couldn’t get out of my head no matter how hard I tried. It’s been a busy week at work with my new boss starting (she’s pretty awesome) and a million other things going on. I’m still recovering from Vegas (more on that soon) and a bunch of silly little things were getting the best of me. The tears started within the first five minutes of class and I found myself wishing that I was back in St. Lucia, staring at the ceiling of the barn where we had our yoga and meditation practice every morning.

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While thankful I was in a yoga class at all, 1,000 thoughts continued to swirl through my head and I definitely was not breathing, maybe because I was trying not to cry too much. I think it was all the stress and worry just flowing out of me. And then I was reminded of my familiar mantra “in with love, out with fear” and took a step back to really reflect on that.

The uneasiness and worry and unnecessary little stresses will pass, I know that.

Goodbye fear.

I have so much love and so many amazing things to be thankful for… wonderful people, great news on Tuesday(!!), a stellar weekend planned, a bunch of auditions… the list goes on.

We all have cranky days and yesterday I had one. I’m not quite sure why. But today I’m focusing on all the love and awesome stuff and leaving the silly, crummy, negative crankiness behind.

And when all else fails, I’ll just imagine that I’m back in St. Lucia.

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