Hey Ocean! Tuesday Tunes 31.7.2012

Canadian band Hey Ocean!, mixes male and female vocals, flute, guitar and bass with emotional lyrics for a melodic, truly unique listening experience.

Check out their new video for Islands, plus this recent live performance.

We could build an island
you and I could swim beside
where we could ride the tides
until we fall asleep at night

We could build an island

you and I could swim beside
where we could ride the tides
until we fall asleep at night

What's your favourite Hey Ocean! song?

Related Links:
"'Write a song about California', he said" | Oceanography

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Pina Coladas & Productivity: Things I Love Friday 27.7.2012

Happy Friday, gorgeous!

I'm having a really great day today. I woke up super early to work on some projects (query letters, graphics for Fashion Beauty Body Image and research for Socialexis), so I'm energized and feeling accomplished. I'm going to do a few more hours' work, then spend the rest of the day organizing my office and watching a Monk marathon. What are you up to today?

Little things which made me smile this week:

♥ Getting used to my new hair ♥ Lunch with Chana, Tush & Shirley This songPina coladas and smoked blue cheese with my dad ♥ Minted by Revlon Cherry Pepsi
Cotton candy lip balm

Have a wonderful weekend!

Music Monday 23.7.2012

I can't help but resurrect Music Monday because I'm so happy there's a
new No Doubt video!

This band impacted my style, hell, my life more than I could possibly say.

Here's Settle Down:

Snapshots: Weekend Getaway to Buffalo, NY

Last weekend I went for a quick getaway to Buffalo, NY. It was great to get away, see some sights, do some shopping and get home in time for the work week!

Here are some of my favourite snapshots:

Driving past Niagara Falls en route to the border.
Hanging out at the hotel with fruit and soda.

Dinner at Cracker Barrel.

Visiting Patriots and Heroes Park.

Shopping! Dress by Cynthia Rowley and blue tongue care of a delicious slurpee ;)

My mom relaxing at the pool.
Flaunting my new swimsuit bottom and American flag tee.

My mom is a plane-spotting addict. On the way home, we stopped in Mississauga so she could enjoy the view and I could take some outfit photos. {What I Wore: colour block top: TJ Maxx. Popsicle-print shorts: Wal-mart. Shoes: Hello Kitty. Sunglasses: Ray-Ban. And yup, that really is a (non-photoshopped) plane right above (behind?) me!}.

All in all, a wonderful weekend!

"I've worked really hard for this body"

I ran into an old friend at Starbucks.

After the usual warm greetings and hugs, I said, "you look amazing!"

She smiled, "thanks, I lost 15 pounds".

"Oh, I didn't mean that you look like you've lost weight--"

She looked pained. "What? It doesn't show?"

"I just meant you look beautiful and that shade of yellow really complements your skin tone. And those shoes are ador--"

She pursed her lips, playing with the straw in her fat-free tall mocha. "I've worked really hard for this body. You should be happy for me".

That phrase. I loathe that phrase: "I've worked really hard for this body".

Sure, some people do work hard to be thin. Tirelessly planning low-fat meals, spending hours at the gym, poring over calorie-counters. But why is that something to be proud of?

Then people like me, more zaftig than svelte? If we're not seen exercising or dieting, we're assumed to be lazy slobs. We haven't "worked for our bodies". We've just sort of fallen into being fat. And we should be ashamed of ourselves.
But the ones society really wants to fill with shame? Those of us who have larger bodies because of equally large illnesses-- diabetes, PCOS, you name it-- all correlated with fatness, but not caused by it (though many would disagree with that statement, fat is not a proven cause)? We work hard to stay healthy, to battle the illness itself, but unless we concede to losing weight to 'cure' it, we're a lost cause.

What I've learned from this, is that all of us work for the bodies we have. God or nature (or both) gave us our body, but we toil to feed it, wash it, love it. And that takes a lot of effort, no matter your size.

Next time someone tells me she worked hard for her body, I'll put my pudgy hand on my curvy hip, look her straight in the eye and say, "I know. So have I".

Image: Jennifer Lawrence for GQ

Brownies, Bracelets & Mila Kunis: Link Love 13.7.2012

TGIF! Time for some fun links, don't you think?

This antipasto salad looks delish (especially with crusty bread)!

Mila Kunis' recent Glamour cover shoot is lovely.

9 Benefits of Being a Morning Person reminds me why I love getting up early. How about you?

A no-sew peplum top DIY tutorial ! Fab!

Check out this blog post from Nubby Twiglet for some office inspiration.
These fishtail friendship bracelets are adorable.

Reese's Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownies... Can you say "YUM"?!

Danielle LaPorte asks, would you sell your sofa to get closer to your dream?

Google advocates for the legalization of same sex marriage.

Why do flamingos stand on one leg?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Photo: Kerosene Deluxe (model) & Tiffany Ireland (photographer)

This Summer's Best Graphic Tees & Where To Buy Them

Graphic tees are awesome. You can dress 'em up with pumps and a pencil skirt, or kick back and just pair an old favourite with comfy jeans and sneakers. Great tees can be found for 5 or 10 dollars a pop or can be easily DIY-ed, making them an affordable way to upgrade your wardrobe. And best of all, a fab picture or phrase can effortlessly add that 'little something' to even the simplest of outfits.

I've rounded up some of the very best graphic tees this summer has to offer, in a wide variety of sizes and styles, in online and brick-and-mortar shops, and in different price ranges, plus ideas for where to buy them. There's bound to be a few for you!

Plus Size Barbie. Comes up to 4x. I'm waiting for this one to arrive in the mail, actually! I couldn't resist buying it, because really, who doesn't wanna be a plus size barbie? From the same store, Not Photoshopped is pretty cute!

Whenever I'm in the States, I love to stock up on tops at Target. They're cute and affordable, which is perfect for my wardrobe and wallet. Last time I was in Buffalo, I bought this one, which has Mickey Mouse on the front and neon pink stripes on the back. This weekend, I'm hoping to snap up the Hello Kitty one just like it! Other options from Target include: "Beautiful" (because you are!), "Captain Julius" and "USA".

If you're looking for something a little different, try a trapeze tank, a crop top or a handkerchief hem top.

♥ Thrift stores and eBay can be great sources for cheap, unique t-shirts. Also try etsy for vintage ones!

♥ Let your geek flag fly! Show off your fandom love! I'm partial to Kingdom Hearts and Big Bang Theory.

For more t-shirt ideas, follow my t-shirts Pinterest board!

Which tee is your favourite?

Full Disclosure: I have not been compensated in any way by any of these companies whose tees have been featured.

TiLT 12.7.2012: Off to Buffalo!

It's Thursday, sugar! You know what that means... Time for Things I Love Thursday.

The highlights:

Taking ridiculous, adorable pictures with Chana and Tush on a Maltesers-fueled sugar high was pretty awesome. I don't talk about them enough here, do I? My childhood best friends, Chana and Tush (and Shu, who's part of our group, but whom I rarely get to see) are so dear to me. Throughout my anxiety disorder-plagued elementary school days and tumultuous teen years they've been by my side, and now, in our 20s, we're closer than ever. More than anything, I wish for every woman to have friends this incredible. Friends who are practically sisters.

Working with Alexis Grant. I've read her blog for years and admired her for almost as long. If you don't follow The Traveling Writer, you definitely should. I read it religiously when I went on my first cross-continent adventure, especially on the days when I was scared out of my mind! Alexis is also an incredibly successful freelance writer and entrepreneur, so you can see why I look up to her so much. I think I'm rambling (which is okay I guess, because TiLT is the most personal of FBBI's series, but I digress... I'm excited!

Amanda Palmer's video for Want It Back just came out, and it's incredible. Artistic and emotional and just... so AFP. You should watch it.

Little things which made me smile:

Listening to Lana Del Rey on repeat Running into my dad and brother at Indigo
Katy Perry: Part of Me Thin-crust Kalamata olive and feta pizza The Ramen Girl
Nautical stripes, everywhere! Girl's night out with Hannah and Maman Discovering Keshet Blog love from my twitter friends ♥

I'm off to get ready for my mini trip, but don't worry-- I have a fashion post to share before I leave, and lots of pretty pictures and other exciting stuff queued up on tumblr.

What's on your TiLT list this week?

Colourful, Sweet Summer Chic: Ideas For Your Summer Look

Come summer, all I want to do is drink pina coladas on a Floridian beach or take a stroll by Toronto's Harbourfront. Either way, you can bet I'll be wearing a flouncy skirt and some fab wedge shoes.

Colourful, Sweet Summer Chic

'Tis the season for pretty shades of pink and yellow, painted toes, sheer, gauzy fabrics and little feminine, beachy touches.

Colourful, Sweet Summer Chic 2

Colourful, Sweet Summer Chic 3

What's in your summer wardrobe?

14 Things I Love About America

Image: Anne Miller

Happy 4th of July, American friends! In honour of your special day, let's count down my favourite 14 things about the lovely USA.

14 New York City. I'll never forget the beautiful few days I spent in the city that never sleeps!

13 American Dad. The perfect mix of stupid humour and intelligent laughs.

12 Sweet Tea. Delicious, refreshing and the drink associated with southern hospitality (see #2).

11 Casserole. Though it was invented by a French Canadian, the hearty baked goodness was largely popularized by American housewives from the 1950s to 1970s.

10 Junk Food. Take 5, Oreos and Zero bars? I love you.

9 Disney, Disney World, Disney Land, Mickey Mouse... Everything Disney. The child in me thanks you, America.

8 Trader Joe's. I could spend hours there!

7 Florida. This one is obvious.

6 Magazines. There are so many great magazines based in America, like Bust, Bitch and Glamour.

5 Pop Culture. Okay, I could take or leave lots of it, but there are so many incredible movie stars and musicians from America's past and present: My Chemical Romance, Bette Davis, Lady Gaga, Emma Stone, Patsy Cline, Taylor Swift, Montgomery Clift....

4 Red, White & Blue. It's very easy and enjoyable to express your love of the USA in your decor or clothing.

3 Patriotism. Stars and stripes are everywhere! The passion and pride Americans feel for their country are so inspiring.

2 Southern Hospitality. I'm enamoured of Southern Belle culture. It's practically an art.

1 USA + Canada's Friendship. Being Canadian, this had to be my first choice. Of course.

What's your favourite thing about America?

Setting Goals: 25 Before 25

Last year I completed my 20 Before 20 bucket list... this year I'm going to begin a new one: 25 Before 25.

Lots of bloggers have their own spin on the bucket list, like Goddess Leonie's 100 Things To Do In 2012 (which I emulated), and Nubby Twiglet's simple list of goals. I'm going to make my own and blog about each goal I reach.

Just shy of 21 years of age, I feel it's time for me to embark upon my 25 before 25.

1 Spend a winter in Florida.

2 Earn a degree.

3 Be published in a glossy magazine.

4 Visit Canada's maritimes.

5 Pay off my credit card debt.

6 Interview Amanda Palmer.

7 Learn Finnish

8 Find my body's healthy weight and learn to embrace it

9 See a country concert in Nashville

10 Get a waist training corset

11 Make at least my personal annual financial goal from my freelance writing business alone

12 Memorize a favourite poem

13 Learn to make black forest cake, casserole, cornbread and gnocchi from scratch

14 Visit another continent

15 Swim in the ocean

16 Improve my sense of self worth

17 Drink a manhattan in Manhattan

18 Perform a burlesque routine

19 Visit New Orleans

20 See My Chemical Romance live

21 Visit the Smithsonian museums

22 Spend a day at Disney Land.

23 Perfect my Elevator Pitch.

24 See the Aurora Borealis

25 Take part in a professional pinup photo shoot

Do you have a similar list of goals?
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