Yes Please! // Amy Poehler is our comedy hero

IMG_8607Honestly, it shouldn’t have taken me this long to read this incredible book. It’s SO heavy though. Literally. You know I love reading on the subway, but lugging this hard cover with high quality paper around was too much for me. I can appreciate the thick paper stock that Amy selected, I’m all about books versus Kobo e-readers, yet I tended to be reluctant to bring it with me. It’s not looking good for hardcovers. Although, Mindy Kaling’s memoir – a soft cover with crappy paper – doesn’t even compare.

All in all, I’ve never had so many pull quotes from one source in my life. Amy is wise, hilarious and to the point when she busts out life lessons or something she’s learned and wants to share with her readers. According to Meagan (and I agree) Amy gives advice in an honest way that isn’t condescending. Her levels of vulnerability as she discusses her divorce, kids, career and journey through life, makes you want to listen. Deeply listen. Not only is Amy a people person, but she is both street smart and book smart – in the words of Meagan.

IMG_8604I wouldn’t feel right not quoting Amy in this post, so below you’ll find the top 10 quotes that I fell in love with during this read. Enjoy.

  1. “Did you know that when your water breaks the best thing to do is stand up? Your baby acts like a plug.”
  2. “The pressure of ‘what are you going to do?’ makes everybody feel like they haven’t done anything yet.”
  3. “It’s easier to be brace when you’re not alone.”
  4. “My only job was to surround myself with people who respected and supported that choice. Being foolish was the smartest thing to do.”
  5. “I’m at the point in my life now where delivering a b-minus performance on a televised show with some of my comedy heroes doesn’t ruin my week. I don’t know if that is the most inspiring or most depressing sentence I have ever typed, but there you have it.”
  6. “The only thing we can depend on in life is that everything changes. The seasons, our partners, what we want and need.”
  7. “Your ability to navigate and tolerate change and its painful uncomfortableness directly correlates to your happiness and general well-being.”
  8. “Life is endings and beginnings.”
  9. “I think that if you can dance and be free and not embarrassed you can rule the world.”
  10. “The only way we will survive is by being kind. The only way we can get by in this world is through the help we receive from others. No one can do it alone, no matter how great the machines are.”

P.s. This was our favourite Female Comedian Memoir. To read about the others we’ve read click here for Mindy and here for Lena.

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Goodbyes make me cry // Solo Traveller

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// #SunnyDee

IMG_6194Let me start by saying Sunny is one of the bravest women I know. Not only does she jump right into many aspects of her life (living in a new city, climbing the career ladder and her personal life choices), but as a solo traveller too. 

I couldn’t do what she is doing, but that’s why I admire her. Not only did she quit her job to embark on an entire year of travelling the world, but she started a new project amidst all of this planning. Getting her own website up (called 32 degrees & Sunny), linking her instagram and planning to freelance while she’s away, are just a few of the things she has set into motion. 

I’m not scared for her at all. I know she is going to succeed and be fulfilled – heart and soul – by the places she visits, people she meets along the way and memories she makes. 

LoveThough a year apart doesn’t seem long – it is. She’s truly the ying to my yang – as she is carefree, not easily stressed and truly embraces freedom in ways I can’t. Though our dreams may be different (hers travelling the world and mine to own real estate in Toronto) she’s special to me in ways that are indescribable. 

We do have a plan though. Next summer. Her and I will meet. In Spain. I cannot wait! If there is one thing you need to know about Sunny, it’s that she gives the best, strongest and most loving hugs. Even when I woke her up at 5am to check my eyelid that was swollen from a mosquito bite, despite being pissed about it, she was there. That’s a friendship that will last the test of time.

Bon voyage my love!

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Friend love multiplied by 100 // Carleton U Ski & Snowboard Club

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2015 has been a rough year for a lot of my friends and I. We don’t really know why, but it seems like we’re all in a state of transition and big – sort of negative – life changes are happening to some of us. I’m a big believer in the right timing and things happening for a reason, so of course I’ve been reflecting a lot about this.

What makes me truly happy though, is that these circumstances have made my best friends and I a lot closer over the last few months. And there is no sign of this stopping. I’m full of “friend love” today – in the words of Cammie.

Last weekend I made a trip to Ottawa and hung-out with some of my favourite people. The old Ski & Snowboard club crew from my days at Carleton University. I see the girls a lot, but not the boys. So spending quality time together over a round of jagerbombs (worst choice ever) was just like old times. Unfortunately/Fortunately, I proceeded to get University Daniela drunk, and hit the dance floor at Zaphods (my favourite bar on earth).

IMG_8643There’s no denying that we will remain friends for a long time. We all love each other so much, and have had many adventures together. From going to Mont Tremblant every Sunday, to travelling to Vancouver, living together in Ottawa and growing up – no group of friends truly knows the real me better.

For that reason, I am always my true self with them. I’ve been feeling down lately and trying to gauge what my next moves are going to be. So even after last night’s festivities – dinner with Cams at The Flatiron followed by drinks at Town Crier Pub & Halfway Beer House with everyone else – I’ve never felt more confident in my life choices so far or more like myself again.

I think 2015 has purposely brought us all together to remind us of how strong our friendships really are – despite living in different cities. It has been showing me how much they mean to me more and more as we head into summer. I don’t know what I would do without these beautiful, somewhat classy, people. Next stop, Ottawa in July for Hope Volleyball.

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Is Everyone Hanging out without Me? // Mindy Kaling’s Memoir

I used to chuckle when watching The Mindy Project (TV Series), but I’m positive it’s been cancelled – as many of my friends have told me. This outcome, though, really hasn’t affected me. That’s kind of the same way I felt when I finished reading, Is Everyone Hanging out without Me? Indifferent.

mindyThere was no feeling of satisfaction, accomplishment or growth when I finished reading Mindy’s memoir. Unlike Lena Dunham’s Not that kind of GirlMindy doesn’t really have any in-depth analysis’ (or just plain old reflective thoughts) about her own life events. I wasn’t intellectually stimulated the way I was while reading Lena’s Memoir.

Maybe comparing them directly isn’t really fair, so I have to admit there were some funny moments in Is Everyone Hanging out without Me? Her descriptions of the birth of Matt & Ben, a play she wrote with her best friend while in New York, was funny. And candid moments like her breaking Brenda’s nose by accident – on stage – during a performance, also hilarious. Graduating from college, moving to NY and trying to survive on a babysitting job – were all very relatable to my first couple of years after graduation, and trying to find a job in my field.

Yet, when she went on and on about The Office, I really didn’t care. I wasn’t a real fan of the show, so that probably skewed my opinion. But I really had no idea that she played a regular character on the show, wrote, directed and produced episodes! Another interesting fact I came across was that Mindy based The Mindy Project’s main characters profession, a gynaecologist, on her mom’s actual career path. Incredible, I know.

Meagan said it accurately though, this book is just way too long for the amount of “verbal diarrhea” Mindy shares with us, her innocent readers. I did manage to find one quote I really enjoyed:

“One friend with whom you have a lot in common is better than 3 with whom you struggle to find things to talk about”

– Mindy Kaling

We are going to try reading Mindy’s next book, Why Not Me? I promise to remain unbiased, since her first book was written awhile ago, so maybe the next one will be better?

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New Book List // Keep on reading on

IMG_8360Though it’s Mother’s Day and I love my mom a little bit extra today, I’ve been meaning to blog about our Book Club for Two 2015 book list for quite some time now. 

So, while my mom indulges in an afternoon nap, here it is (in no particular order): 

Catcher and the Rye // J.D. Salinger
Great Expectations // Charles Dickens 
Oliver Twist // Charles Dickens 
Arrow of God // Chinua Achebe
Yes Please! // Amy Poehler 
And the mountains echoed // Khaled Hosseini
Is Everyone Hanging Out without Me? // Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling’s book, Is Everyone Hanging Out without Me? is crossed off the list because we just finished reading it. Don’t worry, a book review will follow later this week with what Meagan and I thought.

IMG_8466There are some repeat offenders (books) from the original Book Club for Two list because we didn’t read Moby Dick fast enough – obviously. But, it doesn’t mean we don’t want to read them. Meagan currently has my copy of Catcher and the Rye waiting for me in Ottawa – she picked me up a used copy!

I hope that you’re enjoying your Mother’s Day Sunday with you mom(s). Maybe you’re taking a break from mom-daughter (or son) time too?? I mean, I already gave my mom her card and present. I thought it was pretty unique, two tickets to the Ripley’s Aquarium here in Toronto. She’s been dying to go with my dad.

Anyway, let Meagan and I know if you’ve read any of the above books – and what your thoughts were in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you.

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Shakes & Franks // Eating in Toronto

It’s important to choose a great dinner date no matter what the occasion. That’s the first thing I do when I discover a new-ish restaurant in Toronto that I am DYING to try.

When it came to Shakes & Franks (located on 2032 Queen Street East in the Beaches), I knew my besty Jess would be the perfect gal for the hot dog eating and milkshake drinking challenge. I first heard about Shakes & Franks from Alessandra, a girl I worked with early on at QMi/Sun Media, and it just so happens it’s her sister’s boyfriend who opened the place with his brother in 2012.

IMG_8389So, on a cold spring day – that felt a lot more like winter – Jess picked me up from work and we drove straight over for dinner. With pay parking right across the street, we were all set!  First on my list was the “Made with Nutella” milkshake. I had only heard FANTASTIC things, and trust me, they weren’t wrong. It was not only made with authentic Nutella, but real ice cream and whole milk too. DELICIOUS.

Choosing our franks (hot dogs) wasn’t easy. Thankfully, the staff had great suggestions and helped us through the selection process. Recently I’ve had a new obsession with pineapples on EVERYTHING. Naturally I selected the “Hula,” a bacon wrapped & deep fried dog with pineapple salsa and lemon garlic mayo toppings. You also can’t go wrong with mac & cheese, so “The Mac Attack” was our second pick. This was also bacon wrapped & deep fried, but topped with the original Mac N’Cheese that everyone knows and loves.

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IMG_8392Since Jess and I decided to split each dog in half (naturally what best friends do, so that you can try more than one item on the menu), we had to get fries too. Say hello to the “Fiesta Fries.” These spuds were covered in pico de gallo, sour cream and cotija cheese. YUM. I couldn’t stop eating them.

Everything was so fresh, tantalized my taste buds in a subtle yet impactful way, and I definitely need to go back for more when it’s warmer outside. Who doesn’t love a restaurant where you can get Coca Cola in a glass bottle? Tell me who.

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Survival Guide // 5 tips to surviving a break-up

IMG_8133With a few tricks up my sleeve for surviving a break-up, I’ve come to the consensus that there are 5 things a girl should do when her heart is broken.

1. Break the news to those closest to you (Keeping in mind that every time you tell someone new, you’re going to cry.)
A. Family First
Your mom is your best friend or at least your sister/sister-in-law is. Telling them will require ugly crying, but it will feel good to let them know right away. You don’t want them asking you, “Where is so and so?” Mom’s are the best because no matter how much they’ll miss him being around, they will always take your side first. You’re their daughter, and your heart is hurting. They know what to say and how to help. Sisters are great too! I think I would have completely crumbled and stayed in bed if it hadn’t been for Flo’s hugs and Toffee’s (her bichon-poo puppy’s) sweet kisses.

B. Call each best friend separately
You really want to utilize each best friends attention, and the way you do that is by telling them one by one. This not only allows you to tell the tragedy in full detail each time, but your friends are able to give you their advice and supportive thoughts in full as well. There is no time limit and you don’t risk getting overwhelmed by everyone’s responses all at once.

C. Tell your Bosses & Co-workers
When that Monday morning hits, and your adult responsibilities kick in, you’re going to have to force yourself to be emotionally stable. This is why you need to rip the band-aid immediately and let your bosses know. If you’re like me, and your bosses truly care about your well-being career wise as well as personally, it’s important to let them know you might not be yourself that week. Especially if you’re that A-type, determined to get the job done despite the circumstances gal, like me. Trust me, they will understand.

2. Get Waxed
Obviously this can’t be planned. It might not be that time of the month for you to get a Bikini Wax, but it was for me. So, I went the day after our breakup. To be honest, it was therapeutic. I’ve known Zoya (my waxing lady/quasi-therapist) for about two years now, so she’s up to date with my personal life. Of course I shared the whole story with her, cried, and was physically in pain when she pulled those strips. But, it helped … and I did it for myself.

3. Listen to Ariana Grande’s album My Everything (the Deluxe version) on repeat
Oh Ariana, why is your voice so beautiful and soothing? Though her pronunciation of words isn’t always accurate, her break-up and love songs really touched my soul. I highly recommend: One Last Time (which is on the radio now), Just a little bit of your heart, Break your heart back and My Everything – to get you through.

4. Revamp your everyday items … we’re talking bras and cheeky VS
Victoria’s Secret is the place to go after a break up. In need of some new things anyway, this was the perfect opportunity to restock my drawers. I purchased select items that would make me excited to get up and get dressed in the morning. What woman doesn’t need a little bit more colour in their lives? Even if it is just bras and something cheeky – get it?

5. Keep busy (an obvious one)
The best way for me to do this – was to commit to going to the gym after work during the week. It was great because my friend Vanessa would meet me there and we’d work out together. Going alone was beneficial too, I have to say. Here, you won’t obsessively keep thinking about what just happened, the break-up conversation, or be flooded with memories of the things you did together.

Ensuring you have solid plans on the weekends is another great time-filler. Your family and friends know you best, so if you’re a little depressed while hanging out – they won’t hold that against you. The girls and I had a Sex and the City marathon while painting our nails and applying Jamberry nail stickers.

IMG_8120Matthew and Flo’s wedding was a huge way to keep my brain busy and emotional breakdowns in check. It was great timing, really, as Flo’s bachelorette party was the following weekend. When planning a party you don’t have time for yourself, which was fantastic. That night I got to dress up, look sexy, drink a lot and dance it off.

Relationships, though fun and exciting, can be tough at times. This Survival Guide doesn’t insinuate that break-ups are easy. They aren’t. But I’m still a hopeless romantic. I know that will never change about me, even if I do decide to try out Tinder. Being single has its benefits and when I’m ready to get back in the game, I will.

To read more of my relationship//ex-boyfriend advice, click here. 

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