Redefining Realness

by Allison on October 30, 2014

in For the Love of Books

Redefining Realness by Janet Mock

What I’m Reading: Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock

I believe that telling our stories, first to ourselves and then to one another and the world, is a revolutionary act. It is an act that can be met with hostility, exclusion, and violence. It can also lead to love, understanding, transcendence, and community. I hope that my being real with you will help empower you to step into who you are and encourage you to share yourself with those around you.


A Visit to the Palace of Versailles

by Allison on October 26, 2014

in Travelin' Through

Versailles Gate with Sun Flare

I’m a sucker for sun flare on a gorgeous day.  Being about 20 km southwest of Paris, the Palace of Versailles makes for a lovely day trip.  It was the center of political power in France from 1682 when Louis XIV moved there from Paris until they were forced to return to Paris in 1789 when the French Revolution begun.  The buildings and ground are not only a beautiful place to visit but a symbol of opulence during absolute monarchy.

Versailles Garden Spirals

Check out how meticulously manicured those spirals are.  The grounds are almost 2000 acres in size and includes topiaries, fountains, and ponds.

Versaille Ceiling Mural

A glimpse into the chambers de Mesdames.

Versailles Sitting RoomVersailles Gold Accents

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Street Art in Paris

by Allison on October 19, 2014

in Travelin' Through

Paris Street Art


Paris Street Art PortraitsParis Street Art ButterfliesParis Street Art Collage


Love List :: Oct. 1, 2014

by Allison on October 1, 2014

in (I Love) Lists

Carousel - Ex 2014

Love List

New bookmarks.  Learning more HTML and CSS.  Seeing my older brother get married.  Collecting pebbles and shells from places we travel.  Mood rings.  Fresh nutmeg.  Sherlock.  Copious amount of travel photos.  Instagram.  Following my arrow.  Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds.  The anticipation of In-N-Out Burger.  How quickly my hair dries after I get a haircut.  Toronto Public Library.  Seeing the pattern emerge.  Travel mugs.  Pistachios.  Autumn.  Florence + The Machine.  Honesty when requested.  Soft landings.  Watching fluff on planes.  Sea salt.  (Slowly) catching up on podcasts.  Salad made by others.


Currently :: July 2014

by Allison on July 26, 2014

in This Is It

Currently :: July 2014

reading A Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne

thinking about gluten-free baking

making lists of pros and cons

listening to nostalgic music

drinking chai tea in summer (go figure–)

stretching expectations of myself

being the only me I have

remembering life is like a mop

researching travel for myself as well as others

preparing to see my brother get married this summer

craving swimming

appreciating the comfort of the Zen Apartment

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Kitten and the Bear

by Allison on July 13, 2014

in Community

Kitten and the Bear

The stars aligned and I finally was able to visit the Kitten and the Bear to have a chat with a fellow introvert.  Fresh baked buttermilk scones and delicious seasonal jams, preserves, and marmalades.  Delightful.

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The Flower Hunter

by Allison on July 9, 2014

in Community

This last weekend my friend Stephanie participated in an art exhibit called ‘Untitled 272′.  She created a floral installation to create a beautiful canopy that wove in and out along the ceiling.  Capturing it with my camera turned out to be more complex than I anticipated but I think it’ll give you an idea of the soft woodsy feeling it invoked.  And now I know my new favourite rose type is ‘Earl Grey’.

Check out more of her floral, plant, and nature explorations over at her blog, The Flower Hunter.

Stephanie Hachkowski - Flower Hunter

Stephanie Hachkowski - Canopy IIStephanie Hachkowski - Canopy



I went on a creative writing retreat this past weekend, care of Firefly Creative Writing.  This video is made up of snippets and clips I captured in-between and during all the notebook scribbling I was doing.  It was beautiful and calming….and much needed to properly be prepared for July to begin.


Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty by Diane Keaton

What I’m Reading: Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty by Diane Keaton

Don’t be impulsive…When in doubt, stick with black. Black will never disappoint. And always remember to accessorize. Don’t be timid. Paint those toenails and sticker them up. Embrace your arches. Don’t shy away from toe rings and ankle bracelets, either. Learn to take compliments. I haven’t, but you should. Compliments linger.


20 Kilometres

by Allison on June 9, 2014

in This Is It

Having the ever thrilling combination of depression and anxiety often makes it difficult to a.) find motivation and b.) try new things.  This weekend, I did both. I biked 20km today.  And it all happened before noon.

06-08-14 Bike Ride Map

As an extension to the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy course I took this past spring, I have been instructed to ‘try new things’ (even if I don’t enjoy them).  Having depression means losing interest in previously enjoyed activities and part of my last depressive relapse has involved just that.  So the focus here is more on the success of the participation than the enjoyment level of said activity.  Following a plan instead of a mood.

With the help of my partner-in-crime, I dragged myself out of bed and prepped for a bike ride.  I grumbled.  I dragged my feet.  I complained about there being ‘no point’.  And somehow it still managed to happen.  The scale on which success is measured is so varied when depression is a factor that I hesitate to add a label.  Contrary to popular belief, I didn’t undergo any dramatic mood upswings as a result, but I did integrate a short term sense of pride into the rest of my day (!).  Ten kilometres there and ten back.  20 kilometres on a new (to me) route.  That’s something.