Goodbye 2014

2014 has been interesting. I truly wanted it to be an amazing year - it's made up of my favourite digits, it's even, and it's not a prime number! Mostly though, 2014 was tough. I spent the vast majority of it working. Working towards my degree, working at the laboratory, working on myself. I lost my kitty. It was a stressful, anxiety-ridden year.

But I've learned a lot. I've learned that making time for myself, and that surrounding myself with an environment that is inspiring to me is essential for my well-being. I've learned that I can't just forgo creativity in lieu of other types of success. I've learned that I can't spend a significant amount of my time doing something that I am not completely passionate about.

Concerning my 2014 resolutions, I did get some headway in some of them – I have been writing more letters & I am making huge progress in finding a balance between acadamia and creativity. Other things...still need some work - I have to admit to not working on my grudge-holding at all.

 2015 will be an exciting year and many changes are on the horizon! Plans to move across the world with the boyfriend and a suitcase are in the works - Germany? Denmark? Sweden?

I still have to give some thought as to what I will strive for in 2015, but one resolution from this year will carry on onto the next:

 Appreciate more



Winter in Toronto

Spending the Christmas Holidays down by Lake Ontario means that we have the opportunity to escape down to Toronto (frequently!). Here is a round up of some shots from earlier this week, where we wandered through the lively St. Lawrence market and the Distillery District, finishing our day off at a Risotteria nearby. The boyfriend got to test out his newly knit winter toque (handmade Christmas gifts!) and I think it came out nicely – I also knit myself a matching head band, but I didn't want to embarrass him with my cheesiness so I didn't bring it out , excited to start knitting some more over the next year!

The weather has been so, so pleasant this winter here in Ontario – very mild, nothing sub-zero – so I am both excited, and dreading, the return to Montréal's tundra. The indoor market was bustling with people taking refuge from the outside and prepping for the New Years meals. We found many eateries and delicacies as well as good laughs – an otherwise perfectly innocent bakery had trays upon trays of night-mare inducing Christmas themed gingerbread men with evil, lopsided or even missing eyes & buttons!

We then spent some time exploring the beautiful Distillery District, with its many in and outs and unique boutiques, while enjoying some fresh mulled apple cider and hot chocolate shots. I've been trying to document our outings more so I brought my camera along and filmed a few bits to string together as a little memory vlog, which I will hopefully put up sometime soon – I want to head down to Toronto one last time before leaving to top up on bubble tea, dim sum and churros!

Wishing you lovely winter Holidays,



Festive Favourites

These photos were taken downtown Montréal, just outside my laboratory, and will continue to be my view for the next four months. To me, nothing says winter holidays more than evergreens weighted down with white fluffy snow – though by the time March rolls around and I am still cumbered down by snow boots and winter parkas, I might think otherwise.

I was tagged by the lovely Jenny from Mish Mosh Makeup to join the festivities with this Christmas themed tag! Coming from a Latin American culture, it may be a little different.

^ Festive food
  •  Our traditional Christmas dinner consists mostly of a dish called Hallacas, which is rather hard to explain but it is kind of a mix of meats and veggies wrapped in cornmeal dough, and folded in plantain/banana leaves. Served with this is my favourite festive food pan de jamón - a kind of sweet bread with ham, olives and raisins (which I admit to picking out). Not being a big meat eater, my versions are a bit different, but equally delicious!
^ Reindeer
  • I am not overly familiar with this, but we did sing Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer in middle school choir, and I'd have to say I have a soft spot for Dasher and Dancer – may I refer you to this and this.
^ Day of Christmas
  • We actually celebrate Christmas on the night of the 24th. You can imagine my shock as a child when I discovered this is not the way "everyone" does it, silly me. So, Christmas Eve!
^ Christmas song
  • After living in Vancouver for a substantial amount of time, I feel it would be a crime to not mention Micheal Bublé's Christmas album. On an embarrassing side note, I used to cry whenever I heard Frosty The Snowman when I was younger – something about the idea of a lovely snowman friend melting away made me inconsolable.
^ Present
  • There isn't a present that springs to my mind. In fact, I don't remember what I 'got' in recent years, but what I do remember best is just all of us as a family having a great time together. I don't get to see my family together often, as all of us live in a separate city or country so that is really the best part of Christmas.
^ Festive film
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas hands down.
^ Cracker toy & joke
  • We don't have this tradition, or that of stockings, but I think they both sound really fun. A few years ago my boyfriend's family introduced me to hand made advent calendars, and this year we made each other one and it has been too cute!
^ Christmas decoration
  • All of the decorations! As soon as Halloween is over I get the irresistible urge to bring out everything.
^ Christmas candle scent
  • I can't choose! I like the warm cinnamon and spices candles as much as I like the fresh pine and evergreen candles
^ Christmas TV Ad
  • I don't watch TV so I don't know what ads there are, the only ones I remember are more or less the Coca Cola ones.
^ Festive Tradition
  •  I really enjoy celebrating on the night of the 24th – as a child this was always so exciting, as I got to stay up later than I usually would, and hang out with all of my extended family. I am also really enjoying these hand made advents, is it bad that I'm already building ideas as to what to do for my boyfriend's next year?
^ Christmas fact
  • Don't really know any!
^ Snowman accessory 
  • I have only built one snowman in my life - the year that I moved to Canada and saw snow for the first time I built a tiny snowman on top of a cobblestone wall by my house, and I got a baby carrot to put as his nose. Unfortunately (very, very unfortunately) I couldn't reach his head so I ended up sticking the carrot a bit ....lower. Lets just say it ended up not looking like a PG rated snowman.

This has certainly helped me get more into the holiday spirit (not sure if that is possible)! I'd like to tag Hanne from rougeimaginaire, and Regina from Love To Style xo



Day VI

Dear Seb,

Here is your advent calendar Day 6 treat. I know I'm quite hard to share music with because I get so self-conscious and abashed, so for this treat I thought I would curate a playlist of tracks I've been enjoying this wintery November that I think you might enjoy as well.

Love, Dani