Happy Halloween

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

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

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

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.

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

Thursday, October 11, 2012

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

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

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.

Friday, October 5, 2012

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

Thursday, October 4, 2012

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?


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!! 

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