Tinder Brings Travellers Together

A bucket of clams, St. Lawrence Market.
A bucket of clams, St. Lawrence Market.

Currently starring in my own reality show titled, A Modern Cinderella; One Girls Search for Love and Shoes. – A Tinder one-liner.

I went out to dinner with a friend  who had just come back from a cycling trip across New Zealand, and Hawaii (a six-week sojourn through beautiful lands). He was recounting a story about Tinder while travelling. He was in a hostel in New Zealand and he noticed all of these backpackers swiping and texting on their various smartphones. He was confused. They were travellers like him. Who would they be texting in this foreign land? Being a curious sort, he went up to the cutest girl and asked her the question. She explained to him that she was Tindering. Continue reading

Jane’s Walk: Public Art Toronto

Who walks alone in the streets at night? The sad, the mad, the bad. The lost, the lonely. The sleepless, the homeless. All the city’s internal exiles. – Matthew Beaumont, Nightwalking

Recently, my sister reintroduced me to the wonderful city that is Toronto through an organization called Jane’s Walk. As the website says,

“Jane Jacobs called Toronto home and so do we. Here, in our city of many distinct neighbourhoods and diverse cultures, we keep her legacy alive by walking together. This year, the Jane’s Walk festival is on May 1st, 2nd & 3rd!”

My sister and I wanted to sign up for everything, but we restrained ourselves, and signed up for the Public Art walk that started in front of New City Hall at 10am on Saturday, May 2nd. Continue reading

Clothing Swaps Help Reduce Fast Fashion

The more material we lose, the less we have. The less we have, the more we win.
Anthony Liccione

Two years ago, I stopped buying clothes from retail stores, like I used to. Previous to that, I used to go to the shopping mall once a week just to browse, and end up buying two big bags of clothes, shoes, and other accessories. But then I discovered the power of clothing swaps. Swap Don’t Shop had a clothing swap that hooked me to swapping my gently-used items with other kindred spirits. I discovered about Nathalie-Roze’s Uber Swap from one of my fellow swap attendee, and I haven’t missed a single Uberswap ever since (except when I’m travelling). Lastly, I just discovered Toronto Clothing Swap, and went to their Spring Fling Swap on May 9th that I got some amazing stuff from (the pictures above are from this swap).  Continue reading

Willpower Is A Muscle And Can Be Depleted; Is Creativity The Same?

CN Tower in a storm, Toronto.
CN Tower in a storm, Toronto.

As you exercise the muscle of your will by making decisions, taking actions and pursuing activities, your self-control “muscle” depletes. One of the world’s foremost researchers in this field, Roy Baumeister (definitely read his superb book Willpower) calls this phenomenon “ego depletion”.  – Robin Sharma

I have been reading and watching a lot of Robin Sharma videos lately, and I have learned that willpower is like a muscle, and it depletes when used too much. If you are spending all of your day making decisions, then that level of will-power that you started the day off is slowly getting depleted. At the end of the day, your willpower is at zero, causing you to give into temptations more easily, like that midnight snack or skipping your workout routine or finishing up the chocolate cake in your fridge. Continue reading

Start Your Own Massage Routine This Year

Old City Hall, Toronto.
Old City Hall, Toronto.

I take a massage each week. This isn’t an indulgence, it’s an investment in your full creative expression/productivity/passion and sustained good health. – Robin S. Sharma

I got into a massage routine for the first time this year in February 2015. It was one of the best decisions of my life. I went in to Toronto Bodyworks studio due to proximity, I stayed because of the massages. The first time I went in, I was lucky enough to get Annette as my massage therapist. She had just graduated from massage school and I was one of her first lucky client. I went in expecting nothing.

As I laid on the table, I felt Annette point out the tenderness and soreness in parts of my body that I had never ever connected with. There were sore spots behind my knees, under my armpits, underneath my ear. For the first time, I connected to my body as a whole, and not just as a means to an end.

I connected to the specific muscles, tendons, and joints as parts of myself. I went home that day realizing that massages will always be a big part of my life no matter where I am or what I am doing. Continue reading

Just Take The Damn Compliment

Yum Cha TO, Toronto.
Yum Cha TO, Toronto.

I can live for two months on a good compliment. – Mark Twain

I have fallen into a bad habit recently. I used to be able to receive compliments early on in my life happily, joyfully, and with simplicity. Of course, they were giving me a compliment, I would think to myself. It felt natural to receive compliments. But now, my graces have muddied. I am not as good at accepting compliments as I would like to be.

When people tell me they like my dress or shoes, I am eager to accept the compliment – it is because they are complimenting something that is outside of myself. But when, they try to compliment (and try is right, because I stop them midway) any particular aspect of myself, I stop them immediately or I divert their attention back to themselves. Continue reading

Delicious Food At THR&Co.

Desserts, THR&Co., Toronto.
Desserts, THR&Co., Toronto.

Food, in the end, in our own tradition, is something holy. It’s not about nutrients and calories. It’s about sharing. It’s about honesty. It’s about identity. – Louise Fresco

I enjoyed my meal at THR&Co. so much that I had to share my experience with my readers. Anyone lucky enough to be in Toronto should definitely take a chance to go to this place and enjoy their meal. On a random Wednesday night, my colleagues and I decided to do an impromptu dinner. I chose THR&Co. because I had read about them on blogto and decided they deserved a try.

The restaurant itself is adorable. We were able to get seating on the red leather cushioned love seat from the 1950s. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture of the restaurant itself, but let me assure you, the atmosphere was great. When the night fell, the candles were lit, and gave the whole place a beautiful glow. What I liked about it was that there was still enough light for me to see my food, and that was important to me. Continue reading

Weekly Celebration Email

Play Me, I'm Yours. Toronto.
Play Me, I’m Yours. Toronto.

I love life. I wish I could live another 500 years, truly. There is so much to do. I don’t feel bitter or angry or disappointed. If anything, I am very grateful for where I come from. I have absolutely no regrets. – Waris Dirie

Recently, I have decided I want to bring more gratitude into my life. I want to bring the feeling of being grateful into everything I do. Not only because feeling grateful puts massive amounts of endorphins into my body, but because it makes me feel so much joy. To ensure that this happens on a weekly basis, I have started typing out what I am grateful for into a draft email every day, or whenever I remember it. I email all of these little snippets to myself. Continue reading

My Deserted Island

Love the TTC, Toronto.
Love the TTC, Toronto.

Maybe your country is only a place you make up in your own mind. Something you dream about and sing about. Maybe it’s not a place on the map at all, but just a story full of people you meet and places you visit, full of books and films you’ve been to. I’m not afraid of being homesick and having no language to live in. I don’t have to be like anyone else. I’m walking on the wall and nobody can stop me.
Hugo Hamilton, The Speckled People: A Memoir of a Half-Irish Childhood

I have found my deserted island. For the longest time, I thought to myself that I had to travel in order to discover myself. I had to go far, far away to discover who I am, and what my deepest self is like. But recently, I have realized a new reality. I moved into my own space on Jan 17th, 2015. A momentous date in the speck of a life. Continue reading

Contentment Brings More Unrequited Joy

Memories of snow from February in Toronto.
Memories of snow from February in Toronto.

Whatever we are waiting for – peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance – it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart. – Sarah Ban Breathnach

I wanted to blame my hormones, but the truth is I was being silly. I had lost a bunch of friends recently with the break-up, and I had given up a bunch of friends due to their negativity. It was a Saturday, and I wanted to go out, but everyone I called was busy. At first, I took it as a sign to rest – I had been pushing hard all week, and I definitely did need the break. I fell asleep early and woke up feeling great. But as Sunday kept rolling along, I kept getting crabbier. I was going deep into a funk about absolutely nothing. Continue reading