Tag Archives: makeup

My everyday styling routine

Today I’m going to take my readers (hey guys!) through my everyday styling routine and showcase some of my favourite vegan products.

Feel like you’re experiencing déja vu? You just might be. I did a post like this a little over a year ago, but that was before I was really confident with my photography skills and even had the know-how to actually set up portrait shots. My confidence in my skills has definitely changed drastically over the last year, but so has my makeup routine, so I thought I’d provide a more detailed and high-quality post into what my routine looks like most days!

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Vegan nighttime routine: My longtime go-tos

Night Routine

If you asked my partner, he’d probably tell you that my “nighttime routine” involves reluctantly washing my face and then falling asleep on the couch while watching a rerun of Rick and Morty/Brooklyn Nine-Nine/The Office/something equally silly. However, for the past year or so I’ve actually been trying harder to get a more definitive nighttime routine down because helping myself actually ease into sleep and relaxation makes it way easier for me to fall asleep. (more…)


What’s in my (vegan) bag: Ballet class edition

WIMB Ballet

If you’ve known me for five minutes, you probably know that I’m a dancer. I’ve been dancing since I was 11 years old and I’ve never really stopped. I also teach dance at a few different studios, which keeps me feeling so happy and connected to the art.

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What’s in my (vegan) bag: cyclist edition

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Have I mentioned I’m kind of an active person? Between cycling, lifting, climbing, dancing and yoga, if I have a day where I don’t do some form of physical activity, I feel really weird.

At the very least, I ride my bike every day (even in the winter), to and from work. It’s only about 10K each way, but it’s enough to get me pumped and energized — and to turn me into kind of a hot mess. I’m a sweaty person, and because I’m devoted to safety (i.e. wearing a helmet) my hair is always a total tragedy after a ride.

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New vegan personal/household products I’ve tried lately (including one that almost burned my eyelid off)

Big Shampoo

It’s been a busy start to spring in our apartment (which our friend Molly has affectionately nicknamed the “BJ Supermarket”). We’ve been more productive than ever with clean-ups, new organization systems and personal projects (like finally re-stringing my ancient hand-me-down guitar, or Jar’s continued work on his model train layout. His birthday gift to me can be getting it the f*%^ out of the way of the guest bed).

We’ve also still got big plans, like what we want to do with the balcony, how we want to hang the rest of our art, and how we want our bedroom to evolve, style-wise.

As I’ve eased myself into this new living situation (quite comfortably, I might say), I’ve also settled on products that I’m most comfortable with for doing work around the house, and also, well, work on me. I’ve reviewed a few of my favourite household and personal products before, but I thought I might give an update on some things that have worked out really well for me — and some that haven’t.

I want to state that I’m not strictly a naturalist (is that the right word?) when it comes to my products, even though most of these products you will find are considered “clean” and “chemical-free.” The fact is it’s just easier to find vegan products that also fall under this umbrella — and it’s also easier to track which ingredients were tested on or derived from animals this way.

Note: None of the following products are blog sponsors and no money or personal goods have been accepted in exchange for positive reviews.

Earthpaste natural toothpaste in Wintergreen

  • Price: $6.55
  • Where I bought it: The Big Carrot

I’ll admit I’m a sucker for something just because it seems different. Earthpaste certainly sells itself as different. This is a clay-based toothpaste with no fluoride or foaming agents. It’s the foaming agents thing that makes the biggest difference (again: while I’m not strictly anti-fluoride, since most vegan toothpastes are fluoride-free, I’ve lived without it for years). You won’t get that big foamy texture in your mouth, which definitely feels different. I’m normally one to shrug at this — less foam doesn’t mean you’re less clean. But unfortunately that results in a really thin, runny consistency in the paste. There’s something about the clay that also feels gritty, which I personally don’t like on my teeth. I can’t speak to its long-term success, but I just found no matter what it was difficult to make my mouth feel “clean” after.

Bottom line: Would probably not recommend this product, but it’s more about personal preference.

Green Beaver Cilantro and Mint Toothpaste

  • Price: $4.99
  • Where I bought it: Noah’s (King/Spadina)

Yep, somehow I found a cilantro toothpaste. I actually rushed out to buy a new toothpaste after I decided I couldn’t take another day of the Earthpaste. I was going to go back to my usual Kiss My Face brand, but that was about $3 more expensive, and… I mean, cilantro, y’all. I’ll admit this toothpaste probably isn’t for everyone. Cilantro is already an acquired taste (I used to hate it, now I have it in/on everything!) and it’s not the most common thing to find in a toothpaste, but is a really unique taste. It’s still not as foamy as a conventional toothpaste (it’s more creamy) but it at least isn’t super runny, and a little bit of toothpaste goes a way longer way. After this tube is out I’ll probably spend the extra bucks on one of my older preferred brands, but it’s been a good trip.

Bottom line: Would recommend this product to anyone who likes cilantro, but it’s by no means an amazing toothpaste.

ELF Illuminating Eye Cream

Remember a couple weeks ago when I said I was having “some eye issues” lately? I’d been waking up with a lot of eye secretions (sorry, I know that word is nasty) and even crust on my eye that was so bad I could barely open them some mornings. I also experienced a burn on the outer corner of my left eye. I eliminated all of my face products and makeup for a bit and slowly re-introduced them, and the ELF cream started to look like the suspect. I also took a look at the one-star reviews of the product online (I tend to avoid both five and one-star reviews since they usually exaggerate a lot on either side) and found a lot of people said the same thing! Stinging, burning, redness, eczema… yeah. Anyway, ELF responded to my complaints almost immediately and offered a refund, which I have to say really impressed me on their part. However, that doesn’t change the fact that I’m really publicly not recommending this product to anyone with even vaguely sensitive skin (my skin tends to fall under combination/normal and isn’t very sensitive).

Bottom line: Would absolutely not recommend this product regardless of skin type or needs.

Attitude Daily Shower cleaner in Citrus Zest

  • Price: $4.99
  • Where I bought it: The Big Carrot

Moving into an apartment can be tough — even if the building management cleans your tub prior, one big clean session can’t quite get everything off the surface. Combine that with us both being, well, basic human beings who shower every day, and me being a girl who likes her bath (and bath bombs) it was really hard to get ahead with the tub. Admittedly, most vegan bathroom products I’ve tried don’t have the same scrubbing power as non-vegan ones (although I hated using traditional cleansers like Vim anyway because of how they irritated my hands). Every time I’d give a good cleaning session (that would wear my shoulders and chest out as much as a good climb would) it felt like I never got the grime fully off, then after one shower it was dirty again. Anyway, we spontaneously decided to grab this stuff at the Carrot one day. Upon first use we gave it a super thorough scrubbing (that’s recommended for very dirty bathtubs. I’d like to think our bathtub wasn’t “very dirty,” but still, we wanted to see results) and we now use it after every shower. Woah! Major difference. No grit, no weird shady shit that I try to convince myself is a shadow, just a nice, clean shower (and the smell is barely-there, so you don’t have to worry about some overbearing artificial fragrance).

Lush BIG shampoo

  • Price: $27.95
  • Where I bought it: LUSH (Queen/Peter)

I’ve finally reached a point in my life where I no longer have to shampoo my hair every single day. In fact, I’m down to about 1-2 shampoos per week. This shampoo has proven to be the best possible formula for my hair — which is of the Flat ‘n’ Floppy variety. Most shampoos intended for volumizing tend to dry my hair out too much (my hair has oily roots but once you get down to ear level you start to see the dryness/damage), whereas this is a mild enough formula that it doesn’t leave my hair feeling totally parched. A little goes a long way with this shampoo in terms of lather, and the sea salt sensation is actually really cool.

Bottom line: would recommend this shampoo to anyone with a flat hair problem!

One last thing: I had a few lipstick reviews to add (I’m a total lipstick junkie), but I’ve decided to do a separate post on my favourite vegan lipsticks. You guys have to hold me to that, okay?


Spread the love: October edition

STL-October

I’m not going to lie, this post really snuck up on me. I’d had a few other posts in development — like reflections on my blog now being one year old, a peak at what my vegan pantry/fridge looks like on a regular basis, lessons I’ve learned from being an unpopular blogger (we can all say it).

I really am looking forward to posting some more personal and reflective stuff because even for the very small group of people who reads my stuff, I want you to get to know Bree the blogger, Bree the vegan, and Bree the person. I never want to separate who I am from what I do too much.

It’s taken me years of blogging through platforms like WordPress, Blogspot and Tumblr to realize that people like me, and that I have a gift with written word not just for the journalism I do every day, but connecting with people on a personal level. I get really nervous when I speak to people and have a hard time connecting face-to-face, but through writing I’m able to be myself and express myself in ways I didn’t think were possible.

Taking my recent vow of anti-materialism (I’m mostly being facetious in calling it that, FIY) probably came at the exact wrong time for my October Spread the Love post, but I definitely have a few things I’m looking to tell you guys about!

  1. Lush has a new seasonal lip tint, Santa Baby (actually the tint has been around for awhile now but now it’s in tube form!). It’s a matte red that somehow actually flatters my skin tone! Be warned, it takes a LONG time to come off, so don’t wear this lip balm unless you’re planning on wearing it, well, forever.
  2. I haven’t read it yet because it’s not out, but Toronto councillor John Filion is writing a book about former mayor Rob Ford that I’m just itching to read!
  3. I’m a lover of Everyone products, and their hand sanitizer in peppermint+citrus has not left my desk in a month.
  4. I’ve recently gotten a few piercings done at Exotix Studios on Spadina near Queen. They actually specialize in piercings (they had one tattoo artist, but he either is leaving soon or has recently left, not quite sure) unlike most studios, which are primarily tattoo studios and do piercings on the side. Amazingly professional crew here — they’re knowledgeable and passionate artists, and they make me feel so comfortable whenever I’m there.
  5. Last month I picked up the latest cookbook from Fresh, Super FreshThe cookbook is 100% vegan and has a lot of really cool recipes I can’t quite wait to try (especially my favourite restaurant pick, squash tacos)! I’m making it my mission to post a review of the book by Christmas, which means I’d better get my shit together!
  6. Last month I purchased a big e.l.f. haul and ended up discovering my absolute favourite e.l.f. product ever, the Prism eyeshadow set. Highly recommend for anyone who likes nude, contoured eyes.
  7. Do you ever get, like… food-horny? Not just hungry, but, like, you see food and you want it so bad it’s more of an attraction than just a hunger? That’s how I’ve been feeling about spaghetti squash lately. I must make a batch next week.
  8. I’m not a big drinker, but when I drink I like it fancy! I picked up the book Winter Cocktails: Mulled Ciders, Hot Toddies, Punches, Pitchers, and Cocktail Party SnacksSurprisingly, a lot of the drinks are not vegan, but I’ve  been working on veganizing some of them and will have some cocktail recipes for you guys on my blog very soon!
  9. I haven’t purchased anything from them lately, but I always regret that I never shout out to Kid Icarus in Kensington Market. It’s one of my favourite places for unexpected little accents around my house (I far prefer prints to any other type of decor).
  10. Can I just showcase Porter House again and again and again? It feels like I do it month after month but… Okay but seriously you guys, Jarrod and I recently celebrated our anniversary, and we did so at good ol’ Porter. We actually started out at another special place to us, The Ace in Roncesvalles, but found out that they no longer make their only vegan option, so we had a drink (one hell of a drink!) and left. Then we went to ol’ faithful Porter House and it we were welcomed in like family (I’m starting to think the one server there is concerned about how much we eat there). Even if the menu is small, it’s amazing, the ambiance is laid-back but still nice, and we always leave with full bellies and fuller hearts.

My everyday (vegan) makeup look in five minutes or less!

vegan makeup

I’m so excited, you guys! I’ve been putting off doing a makeup post for a very long time — I always get really, really close and then scrap it. One of the biggest factors is waiting to get decent photos taken (the first draft contained a mirror selfie at the gym. OMG). The next factor is that, well, my look changes up a lot. I don’t wear makeup all the time (I like to give my skin room to breathe), but when I do wear makeup I like to have a lot of fun with it, and I’m always trying my hand at something new.

This look, however, is my “tried and true” look, a method I’ve been perfecting since high school. It might seem high-concept or like a lot of product at first, but I’ve actually managed to get my routine down to a pretty simple process.

One thing that has always inspired me was the book The Five-Minute Face by Carmindy. I read the book in high school and have spent the past decade following the philosophy of a simple, radiant look that doesn’t get too trendy.

Because I’m a full-time working gal, my products do go up on the price scale on occasion. Of course, there are also some great vegan makeup products in the low-end price range, many of which I use every day. I try to include alternatives for cheaper products when I have enough in-depth knowledge of the product, and I’m definitely open to suggestions!

Please note that while I only buy 100% vegan cosmetics myself, not all of my products purchased are from companies that ONLY make vegan products. I would love to be in this position one day, but I’ve chosen to go with options from companies that are most accessible.

I’ve also found that some companies who generally get a pass as “vegan” but do not reveal their full ingredient list or vegan lists have actually been less-than-truthful on the subject, therefore I only give my business to companies that actually provide the information upfront. Some companies also present their products as “vegan” but don’t consider products such as beeswax and lanolin to be non-vegan! (I’m looking at you, Wet ‘n’ Wild).

For vegan products I rely largely on sites like Logical Harmony and Vegan Makeup on Tumblr.

My “everyday” vegan makeup routine (and yes, it only takes 5 minutes)

Face

I’ve always had naturally pretty good skin, but like everyone, it has its picky elements. I tend to break out a lot between my eyebrows and on my chin, especially around my period, and I have extremely dark (purple-ish) under-eyes. But I have a lot of positive aspects to my skin too — I really like the tone of my skin and I feel like my cheeks have a nice natural glow. I generally don’t like my foundation to take away from that, I just like it to do a bit of evening out here and there. That’s why I just use a little lightweight primer to bring a nice, bright tone to my face. For spot-concealing I tend to use a heavier, more buildable concealer, and I apply it with a concealer brush. I’ve used the Kat Von D concealer for awhile now and it’s hands-down the best concealer I’ve ever used — both for under-eyes and blemishes! Despite being a full-coverage concealer, it’s never given my skin any problems or made my breakouts worse. Lastly, I set with a nice fine finishing powder, because I have a tendency toward shine, and it helps all my makeup blend better. Finally, I add some shimmery pink blush on top of my powder (I find powder dulls the shine of blush, so I put my blush on top for a more distinct glow). For a more glow-y blush I just swipe the colour on the very top of my cheekbones — I’m not gonna lie, I think it makes me look mega-cute when I smile.

Products

Eyes

Eyes are something I’ve gone back and forth on since I first started wearing makeup in high school. When I first got into makeup, all of my peers were going through the Avril Lavigne phase of really thick black eyeliner on top and bottom with very little fade and tons of thick black mascara. Somehow I could never quite master the look! Of course, being a dancer I’ve owned a lot of eyeshadow in my life (I won’t tell you how much of it was blue, but here’s a hint: a metric shit-tonne). I do like eyeshadow and tend to prefer it over eyeliner in more formal situations, but for an everyday look I find a single line of liquid liner pulls my look together really nicely. Just like I learned in The Five Minute Face, I dot a few lines along my lower lashes and then blend with a smudge brush (or you could use a Q-tip). I like to curl my lashes before applying a light coat of black mascara. I’m not Twiggy, so I don’t put any mascara at all on my lower lashes (anyone who can actually pull this off, let me know and I’ll buy you a Daiya Pizza). I also cannot emphasize enough how much effort I put into my eyebrows! I used to be self-conscious of my thick eyebrows when I was young (not to mention I apparently inherited the patented “Rody scowl” and constantly have a furrowed brow) and couldn’t wait to get them waxed off when I hit high school. Now, I love my mean eyebrows! I mostly fill them in tracing along the top of my brow, then lightly shade down from that line. I don’t do anything to altar or enhance the shape of my brow, just to enhance its current shape and colour!

Products

Lips

Okay, this is actually a simple one. For everyday wear, I don’t wear any lipgloss or lipstick — I find my lips look most glowing when they’re moisturized and healthy. Lip balm is probably the hardest vegan product to find — even “natural” companies don’t seem to prefer using cruelty-free candelilla wax to beeswax! Why oh why is it I can find soy candles but I can’t find soy-based lip balms? Anyway, two of my favourite vegan lip balms that you can actually find locally in Toronto are Hurraw! and Bare English. Hurraw is definitely more oily and has a glossier finish, while Bare English has a nice waxy feel. Both make tinted versions as well (I prefer Bare English’s tinted balm shades). They both come in an ever-increasing range of scents and flavours (Hurraw has 23 varieties!), but my all-time favourite will always be Hurraw’s lip balm in Root Beer. I’ve not really talked about my deep dark secret on this blog very much, but I’m a total root beer addict.

On the odd chance I feel like adding a bit of lip gloss, I always stick to ELF with their classic Super Glossy Lip Gloss in Pink Kiss. I don’t find beige works as a “nude” for me, since I have so many blue-ish pink tones to my skin, and despite looking bubble-gum in the tube, this gloss actually gives that “your lips but better!” shade everyone always aims for.


Spread the love: September edition

Spread the Love

One tradition I really do miss from the “old days” of my blog was my “things I’m loving lately” series. I always knew I’d keep the tradition alive, but I did re-name the series since every single lifestyle blog on the planet calls these posts “things I’m loving lately.”

I don’t want to sound silly or anything, but Urban Garlic really is all about love, you know? Love for yourself, love for animals, love of food and cooking (do I sound obnoxious? Don’t care!) So this is me spreading the love to some of my favourite things right now. Here goes:

  1. I’ve started using Ritual lately when I don’t pack a lunch. I work in a really busy, corporate-but-stylish area of Toronto (Adelaide and Spadina), meaning every restaurant (particularly those with vegan and/or healthy options) is packed at lunch time. Ritual is a really good way for me to speed up the process. Even my coffee orders go way faster now. For those who don’t know how it works, Ritual is an app (available for Android or iOS) that connects you with downtown Toronto restaurants. You place an order and pay for it on your credit card, and it’s available for pickup when you come in. It’s a great line-skipper! (Note: Ritual is still in beta, but if you know someone with the app, they can invite you. You can also access the app if your company has already been approved and you have an email address with the company).
  2. I finally worked up the courage to spend $600 on a blender and got a Vitamix. For how much I make that is blended, the purchase made a lot of sense and thus far I am in love with it. I love that it came with a straining bag, which I’ve been using to make some fresh juices lately.
  3. I’ve always used ground turmeric in a lot of recipes, but fresh tumeric really enhances anything that you like to give a bit of savoury tanginess to. The little roots kind of look like strange turds (yep, I went there).
  4. Buckwheat has become my go-to grain lately. I love blending buckwheat groats into porridge or into creamy sauces, grinding it into a flour or topping my smoothies with it. You’ll see a sweet buckwheat recipe coming to the blog in a few days, so stay tuned!
  5. After a year of being obsessed with Mac DeMarco (who is only my age, which is hard to believe) I’ve gone down that rabbit hole of finding new, trippy dream-pop artists and have come across the British musician King Krule. He’s a small-looking ginger Brit with a crazy-unique voice and some awesome, grungy, hip-hop influenced music that can’t really be placed on the genre spectrum (I’ve tried).
  6. My Tilt campaign recently finished for my e-book (and I’ve decided on a title/theme for it, too, which will be revealled in an upcoming post)! My experience with Tilt was amazing and I can’t wait to continue using it. It’s not just a crowd-funding platform, it’s actually also a really cool way to collect money for group things — like if you’re all going on a trip and you want a central platform to add the funds to, instead of worrying about collecting cash in person.
  7. I developed a love affair with Target when I went to Chicago this summer (I spent about $75 U.S. in the store!!) and bought a giant tub of Just Mayo. I’ve never experienced a more perfect mayonnaise. NEVER. For those with allergy concerns, the mayo is not only 100% vegan but is also free of soy and gluten, AND it’s proudly a non-GMO company if that’s a concern for you. I’m just hoping my container will last me until Jarrod and I go to New York for Christmas.
  8. Kaelyn Gray’s Tap Dance Tutorials have been a tremendous resource for me over the past three months. I’ve been using a lot of her techniques and combos to enhance my own kids’ lessons. If you’re a tap teacher or even just a tap dancer looking to get back into the groove and diversify your steps, I’d highly recommend these videos.
  9. This past spring, Logical Harmony released its vegan list of Kat Von D’s makeup line, and most of the brand is indeed vegan. I’m in love with pretty much everything, but my absolute favourite product is the Shade & Light contour kit. I love contour SO MUCH (WAY TOO MUCH) and use this whenever there’s some sort of special occasion or outing. It really makes my bone structure stand out.
  10. You know what the bread and butter (or, bread and Earth Balance) of this blog is garlic (my publisher, who started reading my blog, recently asked me, “What is it with you and garlic?!”) so naturally, last weekend, my partner and I went to the garlic festival. We weren’t too stoked about the festival in general, but we did walk away with our new favourite thing — a plate for grinding up garlic! It comes with a crazy little rubber tube for taking the garlic skin off, and you can honestly just mash the garlic into a fine puree right on the dish. Woot! We mixed a couple cloves of  pureed garlic in with a few tablespoons of Earth Balance and some dried parsley flakes and voila, we had a nice garlic butter for our toast!

Things I’m Loving Lately: May Edition

May is finished! Woah! And that brings us to my favourite month: (wait for it) JUNE! (Weren’t expecting that, were you)?

Now, I could tell you that June is my favourite month because it’s the month of my birthday and you’d probably believe me, right? Well, as a matter of fact, even if I were born in, say, November (the WORST month) I bet June would be my favourite month. Why? C’mon, it’s obvious. Long days, warm weather (without that awful, pervasive heat-wave feel), sunshine, and the end of school!

Wait, it’s been about ten years since June meant “the end of school.” Oy, I feel old.

But still, I’m making a strong case for June, right?

Here are a few favourites I discovered or simply used a lot of in May. I hope you enjoy these as much as I did.

  1. Lush U.K.’s SunblockI was shocked to know that you can’t actually buy vegan sunscreen in Canada. Why? Because sunscreen sold in Canada MUST be tested on animals. How silly! I’m in California right now (like, RIGHT NOW!) and this little bar is saving my Irish ass.
  2. I actually bought a romper. I love myself for that.
  3. Kat Von D makeup has been one of those up-in-the-air brands that had murmurs and rumours about that it was vegan/cruelty-free, but there was no confirmation. Recently, Logical Harmony certified Kat Von D makeup as cruelty-free and listed their vegan products — almost all of them! I now own a KVD lipstick, concealer AND eyeliner, and I can’t wait to show off some of the interesting looks I’ve been creating.
  4. I’m not just loving my cat Benny “lately,” I’ve loved him forever, but lately I’ve been loving posting pictures and videos of him on Instagram. My cat is just so funny-looking I have to share him with the world (you should follow me! You’ll see some of my sister’s jerk cats there too).
  5. I want to give a special shout-out to my favourite climbing gym in the GTA, Climber’s Rock. I mean, that’s aside from my home gym (I will always love you, TCA). But Climber’s Rock, located in Burlington, is a fantastic gym to travel to from time to time! There are some great beginner routes and a few auto-belays, so you can work without a partner, two large boulder areas, plenty of high, challenging lead walls, and even a great yoga studio and fitness area.
  6. Another great space to shout out to is Hub 14, a creative arts space for local creators to rehearse, create content and even perform in. I’ve been rehearsing at Hub 14 lately. It’s located in the Queen and Bathurst area and feels so wonderfully private.
  7. How did I find Hub 14? Actually, that’s another thing I’m loving lately: Space Finder Toronto. This is a great, easy way to find a space to rehearse in — or have a meeting, or teach a lesson, or record a song. It’s easy to find and book space and sort by price too!
  8. I recently bought these jeans from GAP and they make my legs look fantastic.
  9. A few great articles I’ve read recently about the politics of food: A Plea for Culinary Modernism, which is critical of the way we romanticize the “old-fashioned” food and cooking styles, and The new religion: how an emphasis on “clean eating” has created a moral hierarchy for food. I will say that I disagree (or am just plain confused by) the latter’s views on veganism to an extent (it seems to believe that the only reason people are vegan is to feel “pure” themselves and leaves animal liberation out of the conversation entirely), but that said I think it is astute (and yes, harsh) and a strong point to compare food and the emphasis on “clean eating” to religion.
  10. One of my favourite vegans in the world, Evelyn aka NourishNotPunish (a fellow fructmal) has recently published a raw vegan cheesecake made. without. cashews. or. dates. I actually haven’t made this cheesecake yet, but I WILL! Because, uh, it’s summer time, and my birthday is coming up!

That’s it for this month’s link love and ravings! June will surely be full of a lot of adventures. I’ll make sure to post pics from California (if they even turn out alright) so you can see how this pale Irish-Canadian loser deals with the city of dreams.


Things I’m loving lately: March edition

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And just like that, March is over. Crazy how February is the shortest month and yet March zoomed by like nothing compared to cold, sad February.

Must be something about the weather. You know, it’s funny, everyone around me is complaining about how spring “came and went” and how we’re “back to winter.” I say, have some perspective, people! Is it not so much warmer than it was a month ago? And is it not like we’re down at -20 or even -10. A few degrees below the zero won’t kill us. And look beyond the number on the thermometer. We have sunnier days, earlier sunrises and later sunsets. Lots to be glad about, if ask me.

And I have a lot of things to be glad about, too! Here’s my list of things I’m loving lately.

  1. Jackfruit. I tried the jackfruit sandwich at Porter House recently and I was in heaven. I’d heard a lot about jacfruit, but I never imagined it could be so savoury and amazing! I’ll definitely be picking up a few chunks of jackfruit (did you know that a full jackfruit weighs about 30 lbs and costs around $120 to buy in Toronto, if you can even find one? And opening it is basically surgery). But expect some jackfruit recipes up here soon.
  2. Arkells’ new music video, “Hey Kids!” I was a big fan of “Leather Jacket” but hoped they would follow it up with something a bit more fun and lively. The kids in this music video are adorable, and “Hey Kids” is also really fun to play on the piano.
  3. My old haircut. That’s right, I’ve been a pixie for a month and I miss the mohawk. GIMME SOME CLIPPERS!
  4. The Piston on Friday nights, aka Motown nights. I love a good funk, retro or Motown night. If you live in Toronto and feel like getting down without all that sweaty grinding, check out the Bloor and Ossington area.
  5. Lemonade. I was just saying to my partner that when the weather warms up and we get into “patio weather,” I actually don’t really like drinking alcohol outside that much. I get really bad heat stroke, and alcohol only makes me more tired and nauseated. But I’m one of those people who has just as much fun (probably more) without any booze in my drink, and lemonade is by far my favourite non-alcoholic drink. I’m looking at experimenting with some lemonade recipes this spring, and I’ll definitely be sharing my more successful ones!
  6. I like things that are low-maintenance, so this yeast-free thin-crust pizza dough recipe is really turning my crank. I can just imagine my perfect pizza. Tomato sauce, broccoli, cauliflower, pineapple and onion. What, that’s totally normal, right?
  7. Disclaimer: I don’t work for, hold stock in or have sponsorship by Old Navy. Just clarifying because I do realize that this is the second time in two months I took to my blog to brag about an Old Navy purchase. But this jersey “fit and flare” dress is hands down the most comfortable yet elegant things I’ve ever worn. I can honestly fool anyone into thinking I’m sophisticated!
  8. Pacifica’s Purify coconut water cleansing wipes are always with me in my backpack or purse. I almost never wear makeup, which helps my skin stay really youthful and healthy, but when I do — or even when I don’t — these wipes are a great pick-me-up throughout the day, especially now that it’s getting sunnier.
  9. Death Cab for Cutie’s Kintsugi is being streamed online. Go. Go now.
  10. I’ve finally been able to make the vow to commit to a new show (wow, Bree, what a mature, adult commitment there!) and I’ve chosen — Broad City. Expect me to get into my comfy jammies tonight and watch the first season or so.