Eats and Exploration

Last weekend I met a friend from work who I hadn’t seen in a few months. We had a lot to catch up on and we’ve been talking about going down to the “hip” part of town. She lives downtown and I live in the country so we met it the middle and she showed me some of her favourite places. 

We partially became good friends because we both have a slew of allergies. So she took me to a couple vegan/gluten free bakeries and then went out for lunch at one of our favourite vegan restaurants. 

Neither of us our true vegans but we are both dairy free. I still eat meat (can’t live without bacon!) but I gravitate to vegan food because it is certified to not have dairy and therefore not make me sick. 

Our first stop was a little bakery that offers vegan, gluten free and nut free treats. I had looked up their website and was excited to try their cheese cake but they didn’t have any that day. So instead I opted for a brownie which was AMAZING, and a Queen Anne cake which is basically  similar to a coffee cake with syrup and coconuts on it (I found it a bit dry). 

 Our next stop was a little vegan coffee shop. I was familiar with this shop because one of the local dairy free ice creams I’ve been wanting to try is offered there. So we went in and chatted with the owner and then decided to come back later and get some ice cream (I wanted a pint obviously). 

The ice cream is called oat and mill and it’s a dairy and gluten free ice cream derived from locally grown oats. It’s super delicious and a little healthier then the alternative, even if your not dairy free. They deliver ice cream right to your door! (If in the Ottawa or Montreal area!) 

Next,we started to walk down to the little vegan restaurant we both love, we realized we were about ten blocks away and decided to go and get my car.  

A true representation of our similarity and friendship is that we both got the exact same thing to eat, with the exception of a gluten free collards wrap for her.

We enjoyed pineapple mimosas, “blt” with tempeh bacon and avocados and kale caesar salad (don’t get me started on how delicious this is, I’m obsessed).  

   
Then we went back to the coffee shop for ice cream! We got a scoop to share of chocolate and salted caramel! It was so delicious! And I bought a pint of the salted caramel! I enjoyed some of it the next day with the brownie from the bakery.  

   
Overall, it was a great day and I want to go back and get a bunch more treats. It’s so exciting to explore new areas in the city you live in. So many gems that I never knew existed. 

*If you are from Ottawa or in the Ottawa area and want to know more about any of these amazing spots let me know and I’ll give you the deets. 

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It starts with a capital and ends with a period.

Calligraphy, word art, pressing brush to paper and creating a beautiful piece of art. Something I have always loved, something I have always been told I was good at but something I always wanted to be better at. If you read the blog fairly consistently you know that I started my calligraphy journey a few months ago and I like to think that I have come a long way. I spend a lot of my free time watching youtube and instagram videos about techniques. and I wanted to share some of my work with you.

I have also decided to start a small business, nothing big or profitable but something I enjoy doing and something I want to share with people.

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If you are interested in purchasing any work please visit Love & Letters on Facebook. 

Hi(atus)

Hi Friends! I’m BACK! and before I posted this I made sure to have some full drafts set up in my queue as to not lie like the past three time I said I was back. If you’ve noticed I’ve been away. On a self-inflicted, non-intentional hiatus I would like to say.

Sometimes life gets busy and the smaller things tend to get put on the back burner. I can’t lie I haven’t been that busy, and it’s not that I don’t love blogging but sometimes I see it as work. Especially if you want to make your blog worth following, you have to take pictures, edit posts, network etc. And it’s great, I love doing it but my mental health is my priority and sometimes I just don’t want to think about it, I just want to do and be.

I want to read a book.

I want to paint a picture.

I want to stay in bed all day and watch Masters of Flip.

I want to lay in the sun.

And that’s what I’ve been doing. At least of the past week, I’ve been more of less on vacation from work and I’ve been working from home here and there but mostly trying to enjoy my summer as much as I can before it is gone. And so I want to say I’m back for good and that I will work on being consistent but as you may have noticed in the past that’s a skill I need to work on. If I do take a hiatus is the future I will try and give you a heads up… we will see how this works. It is a journey after all.

 

Pink Hair, Don’t Care

As I sit here in my kitchen on a Saturday night (when this was written…SHH), I realize that one blog post a week is about all I can handle. I wish I could handle more but life is just too hectic. My goals for this week are a. to not burn out by Tuesday like last week, and b. to post two, that’s right TWO blog posts this week. So here comes number 1!

I did it, after over a year of deliberation I did it… What is it you say??

I dyed my hair pink, well not really dyed but I have pink hair.

How do I have pink hair without dying it you say…. I will tell you! just hold tight.

So around this time last year I started tossing around the idea of putting some pink in my hair, I was hoping to do something like this….

pink-brown-hair

but didn’t have the guts to, instead I decided to do a chunk on the right side of my head. 

 My hair dresser and I bleached my hair in chunks and then added 3 different colours to get to the desired pink I wanted. It first when orange and then purple then we found a middle ground that was a mix between pink and purple but I was okay with it. My hair dresser suggested I purchase the Revlon NutriColour in pink to keep it vibrant. This stuff is great, you leave it on for a few minutes and then rince it off. All it does is stain your hair by adding colour on top of your hair and not actually altering any of your colour.

So this summer, as always, I got bored and decided to go big or go home (I swear I should change my blog name to this, I feel like I say it once a post), and do the whole thing…

HOWEVER, my hair dressed and I have worked very hard to get my hair to the stage it is at now and I wasn’t ready to bleach my whole head. So instead I went and picked up two different NutriColours, a pinky, purple colour and then the vibrant pink I used last year. 

  I applied the pinky purple all over my head (be careful it will dye your scalp! so use your conditioner for around your part and face and try not to apply too much in those areas, AND WEAR GLOVES). I then applied the lighter pink at the bottom to create a fade effect (this didn’t really work but I still liked the outcome). I let it sit in my hair for about 8 minutes and this is the results. 

   
 (A little before and after)

I love it, love it, love it! Because my hair is pretty dark the colour doesn’t show to drastically which I like since I’m still  working at school and I need to be professional… In addition the product washes out in 3-5 washes (it says 8-10 but I assume that is for bleached hair), so I normally apply the colour on Friday and then by Monday have washed it at least once so it is not as intense.

I highly recommend this product if you want to jazz up your hair a bit! Obviously the lighter your hair is the better the colour will come through.

What do you guys think??

Inhale Courage Exhale Fear

Just over a year ago I was invited to a friends wedding. My partner was in the wedding party and I didn’t know many people who were attending. For those of you who don’t know I have been dealing with anxiety and depression for most of my life and in the past 5 years have taken many steps to become a happier and healthier person.

At the time of the wedding it had been about a year and a half since my last anxiety attack. I was really excited for the wedding since I love weddings, but was worried about being out of my comfort zone. A lot of my anxieties revolve around social situations, food (since I have many stomach issues) and drinking.
My anxiety was at bay for most of the wedding until it came time for dinner. I was sitting at a table with 9 other people I barely knew while my boyfriend was up at the head table. I couldn’t lean on him for the support I needed and I didn’t want to ruin his night. We had barely eaten all day so when the buffet was open I went and filled my plate up with things I was not sure I could have. I started to inhale my food and within minutes I felt sick. I tried to loosen up a bit by having a drink but that only made things worse. I excused myself from the part and went upstairs to the room we had rented at the hotel. I was sick and tired so I decided I would go back to the party at let my boyfriend know. Before the elevator doors could even open I knew I was not going to be able to return to the party. I went back upstairs, took some anxiety medication and slept for 2 hours. I later returned to the party once my anxiety had subsided and ended up having a great time in the evening.
Once returning to work the following week, I had 3 more anxiety attacks and had to take a week off work.
Since then my anxiety has been better, of course I still have bad days and starting a new job has been challenging at times. But what I am really proud of has been the past two weddings I attended.
In november I was lucky enough to be part of one of my best friends weddings, and this past weekend I was the maid of honour at my best friend’s wedding. With being the maid of honour comes having to make a speech. Luckily it was me and the other maid of honour doing the speech so I was not alone. But I got up there, took a deep breath and talked about how much I love this amazing couple in front of 100 people.
I’ve come a long way in just over a year. I don’t think I would have been able to make a speech in front of my friends and family a year ago, and I did it. Of course I was anxious, who wouldn’t be, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t accomplish something. And so I wanted to mark this occasion with a piece of art, to remember that you can overcome fear with a little bit of courage.
INHALE COURAGE, EXHALE FEAR.

Blog life vs. Real life

As you may have noticed I’ve been MIA lately. There are a few reasons for this but the main one is that I’ve been working between 9-10 hour days most days which leaves little time for blogging projects. The little bit of free time I do have is usually used to catch up on tv shows and relax. I’ve also been crazy busy with my friends wedding but they are now ¬†happily married newly weds so we can all relax a little.

I am however working on a few posts coming up and once the school year is over I should be on here more. It’s all about balance so stay tuned, there is more to come here!

Thanks for sticking around!

 

Pop the Champagne, she’s changing her last name¬†

My best friend, my sister from another mister, my goofy other half is getting married in 13 short days. HOLY CRAP. I’ve known her since we were fetuses, well I was a baby but she was a fetus. We met because my parents and her parents were neighbors and my mom was her day care provider, and so our relationship started with a lot of biting and fighting over my moms attention (she won most of the time). But we never grew apart, not when I moved out to the country, not when we got boy friends, not ever. We will be friends forever and I know that for a fact. 

Okay enough with the mush, as one of her maids of honour (she’s different and had two) it was mine and the others and bridesmaid to plan her last night of freedom as a non-married woman. She loves going to the casino, she collects cards, she loves gambling, and she loves champagne (who doesn’t). So we decided to rent a hotel room across the road from the casino in hull. Since I am the more creative one of the group (although mrs.Z out created me with the wall poofs… See here) I took it upon myself to make some adorable things for the shower. 

First I got  shirts made for me and the rest of the bridal party. 

  Then I used the same saying to make us our own individual champagne bottle and then one for us to share.  

 I really wanted to do before and after pictures of us the night before going out and then the morning after. We didn’t get to the after picture, for self explanatory reasons. 

 And I also made is some bridal taboo to play. 

Also it enlisted the brides aunt to make us some adorable cookies.  

 And finally I made champagne flavoured, casino decorated cupcakes.  

   
Overall it was an amazing night, but we were all a little slow the next morning and I still feel like I’m recovering. Man we are old.