Sweetness To Leave The Not So Fun Stuff Behind

There’s been a lot of fun stuff happening lately… and some not so fun stuff too. I’ve really been lucky to have such amazing people in my life to help me through that not so awesome stuff.

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Fun thing #1: Belmonte Raw with the ever fabulous Dani & Miranda. Those gals are just all kinds of awesometown. And Carol’s food is seriously some of my favourite fare in the city.

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Fun thing #2: lying in parks reading books, a trip to the AGO for Picasso and gluten free vegan fare & mojitos on a patio in Kensington with someone who makes me smile.

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Fun thing #3: a visit from my beautiful friend Rosie all the way from Chicago. That girl has been such a great source of support, laughter and encouragement and it was such a treat to have her here in the city. I can’t wait until she comes back and when I take a trip to Chicago to visit so we can talk more about the real meaning behind Moosehead…

Fun thing #4: new blog design by the amazing My Girl Thursday. Chantilly has been nothing but brilliant in this process. She’s creative, patient and thinks outside the box. I think what she’s come up with is absolutely beautiful and oh-so-me and I can’t wait for you to see it. New blog design also means a bit more direction on this blog and a whole lot more posting. I’ve been saving stuff for unofficial relaunch, so I guess that’s fun thing #4a.

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Fun thing #5: discovering new music that makes me want to squeal with joy. I had planned to attend a show at the Drake a few weeks ago to support the oh-so-talented Paula Perri who was opening for a band called Pearl and the Beard, who I had never heard of. Paula just blew me away (as expected) and I decided to stick around and see what this trio was all about. They were wonderful!! Seriously sweet tunes, beautiful harmonies, interesting mix of instruments and fantastic banter and connection with the crowd. The whole night was stellar and I’m so happy I discovered some new music that I’ve been obsessed with ever since. They’re the best.

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Fun thing #6: the lilacs are out. I love them.

Fun thing #7: singing my little heart out, learning new music, being inspired and meeting wonderful new people in Tracy Michailidis’ Songbook Lab. Tracy is a fantastic performer and a generous, warm, challenging teacher. It’s been a treat to be back in class with so many talented people and I can’t wait to take it again to keep working on my audition book.

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Fun thing #8: by the time you read this, I’ll be on my way to NYC! (maybe I’ll find more men in uniform??) Last week when I got a notification that Jonathan Reid Gealt was hosting a master class along with people like Adam Guettel (responsible for brilliant musicals like Light in the Piazza and Floyd Collins) and Tituss Burgess (the man is incredible), I knew I had to be there. I emailed Jonathan right away and less than 10 minutes later I was planning a trip to New York. The weekend is going to kick my ass and frolicking in NYC is going to make my heart sing; I couldn’t be happier.

I’m not going to get into the less-than-fun stuff right now, and instead focus on all this sweetness and everything great that is to come as a result of some big changes. The always amazing Jessie helped me to write a list of good things to make me happy when we were together last week and a lot of things from this list were on there. I’ve been carrying the list around with me and glancing at it from time to time as a reminder of how many good/fun/awesome things I have to be thankful for right now. Big NYC post when I return!

Paint Fight–Art Of The Danforth

I’m kind of known for always being in a dress and wearing a flower in my hair. People have actually messaged me about seeing someone appearing to be my doppelganger, only to tell me that they knew it wasn’t me because they didn’t have one of the aforementioned articles of clothing. With my choice in attire being pretty clear, I’m probably not the first person you’d picture at a paint fight.

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Or maybe I am and I’d just show up in a white Ashley-esque ensemble ready to get messy.

When I first got a text about this paint fight, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Wear white. Bring goggles. And we decided to wear bright lipstick so it would show up better in the after photos. There was to be over 100 people and a whole lot of paint. After checking out the website, the event sounded messy and hilarious and just happened to be in the east end, so how could I really say no?!

It was an exhilarating 6 minutes of throwing sponges, smearing paint on strangers, laughing, screaming, being occasionally groped, making art, being silly and posing for lots and lots of pictures.

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I was even spotted in the National Post (above pictures by Kara Dillon), the Toronto Star, CityTV and apparently I’m on the cover of the East York Mirror

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It was honestly way too much fun, especially since I had some awesome friends to share it with!

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Gazalle, Sabrina and Sheldon definitely made it even more fun and we loved having other friends at the sidelines as our personal paparazzi and cheerleaders! The only thing more awesome than going to a paint fight with a great group of people was having brunch and mimosas on a patio covered in paint

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Brilliant event. Awesome friends. Sunshine-filled day in the city – who could ask for anything more? Except maybe a pile of white clothing that just increased in awesomeness by at least 100

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Can’t wait to do it again next year! And in the meantime be sure to check out the rest of the events over here on the east side for Art of the Danforth

You’re Falling Away From Me –What They Don’t Tell You About Mother’s Day

I was walking through Indigo on Friday and as I passed the new release section I caught glimpse of Danielle Steele’s new novel. I stopped in my tracks and found myself wondering what kind of books my mum would read if she were still alive. Would I be buying her Danielle Steele’s new book for Mother’s Day? Or would she have moved on to a different author by now? (Surely Ms. Steele has rehashed the same story countless times in the last few decades) I walked out into the glorious sunshine with tears streaming down my face as I thought about things like books and music and clothing and all the questions I’ll never find out the answers to.

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It was fitting to have found resonance in an article on Thought Catalogue regarding the things that they don’t tell you about grief. They also don’t tell you that in the month leading up to Mother’s Day you’ll grow increasingly tired and irritated by the incessant reminders of the second Sunday in May from Google, Sephora, Indigo, Apple, KFC and every retailer known to man. They don’t tell you that your heart will sink on May 12 when you see more people than usual buying flowers at the farmer’s market. They don’t tell you to hide from Facebook and all social media as everyone wishes their mom a happy day. They even neglect to tell you that people close to you will “worry about you” because 14 years later Mother’s Day still hits you like a wall of bricks.

On a bad day I’ll start crying when I hear Dan Mangan’s Tragic Turn of Events / Move Pen Move and while the whole thing just breaks my heart, it’s the lyric you’re falling away from me and it’s just not right that really sums it up for me. It’s all the memories that I’m grasping on to and all the questions that I don’t know the answer to that hit me the hardest. Hearing about my friends’ plans for mother’s day is just a reminder that she’s not here and I don’t have the option to ask her if she already have a copy of Betrayal or if she remembers that sweet card I made you when I was in the second grade. The further away she gets, the harder it feels.

I read a great post on Hope Edleman’s blog yesterday which reminded me of a few things. Hope wrote the book Motherless Daughters which has been instrumental in my healing and understanding and I really appreciate her perspective and dedication to unifying us motherless daughters. Her post reminded me that grieving does take a lifetime. Nobody wants to talk about that part, but it’s true. Feeling as I did in Indigo on Friday really reminded me of that. That being said, I can also recognize the good that came out of my mum’s death. Yes, I said good. I know that I am who I am because of her death, and I have taken this path in my lifetime as a result of losing her when I was 13. Is it sad and awful? Absolutely. But I can truly recognize that good things have come my way because my mother died.

In her post Hope also talked about community and sharing our stories with others.  I write about my mum on my blog to keep her story alive and to share what I have learned along the way. The support I receive from my beautiful readers, friends and family is a very special reminder of the love I am surrounded by and the sweet life I have created for myself. With every day that passes, I feel that my mum is slipping further and further away from me, but I realize each day that I have here is a gift and an opportunity to keep living and shining and loving.

Treat of the Month Club–April

Be jealous…. very jealous

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My sweet friends Lisa and Nicole have started up a Treat of the Month Club and I was delighted to pick up my treats for April on a rainy day last week. While everything was pretty scrumptious, I think my favourite were the flourless almond cookies… with the brownie being a close second. Everything is vegan and gluten free and picking them up gives me an excuse to see some of my favourite people in Toronto. Sweet deal!

Interested? Check out Lisa’s blog and sign up for any number of months between now and December.