(I Love) Lists

Love List :: Oct. 1, 2014

by Allison on October 1, 2014

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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.


4 People Who Have Influenced My Style

by Allison on April 9, 2014

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Style Icons - David Bowie

David Bowie: It isn’t possible to just choose one version.  He has gone through so many incarnations.  I try to take away his spirit of reinvention and exploration of unfamiliar and new things.  When I was lucky enough to see him in concert, another fan leaned over to me and said, “You’re a Labyrinth kid, aren’t you?”  (Maybe it was the fact that my hair was blue-black and styled with a crimper.  Jareth from Labyrinth was my first exposure to Bowie and I’ve been hooked ever since through my own tales of eyeliner, pirate traditions, tight pants, and jaunty accessories.

Style Icons - Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton: big hair, bigger personality.  I grew up listening to Dolly Parton and was enamoured by how sparkly she was.  She just radiates joy, wit, and glitter.  She’s unapologetically herself.  She is an amazing song writer and has a genuine air of kindness about her.  Not to mention, an amazing business woman to boot.  I’m going to make a pilgrimage to Dollywood someday (a big part of this is outfit planning); I hope the gift shops have enough wigs and rhinestones to suit me.

Cyndi Lauper and Debbie Harry

Cyndi Lauper and Deborah Harry: Two musical ladies who again, are unapologetic for rocking out as their own selves.  Between hearing Cyndi Lauper’s voice on the Goonies and catching a glimpse of the cover of “She’s So Unusual“, I was hooked.  Debbie Harry was so rough around the edges but simultaneously girly as the front person for Blondie.  Dyed or bleached hair?  Colourful accessories?  If that’s what being a grown-up was all about, sign me up.


Just Another Link List: March 2, 2014

by Allison on March 2, 2014

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Just Another Link List: Mar 2, 2014

Expecto Patronum: Lessons from Harry Potter for Social Justice Organizing | Between the Order of the Phoenix and Dumbledore’s Army, J.K Rowling’s magical world contains reliable lessons to work towards systemic changes in our own world.

5 Lies You Were Told About Grief | “The truth is there are losses you never get over.”

In Conversation: SNL’s Lorne Michaels | I haven’t seen that many extended interviews with the founder of Saturday Night Live.  This gives a glimpse into the type of long hours required every week.

Jennifer Lawrence and the History of Cool Girls | I dig J.Law.  This discussion of what it means to be a ‘Cool Girl’ throughout a timeline of Hollywood (Clara Bow, Carole Lombard, Jane Fonda)  is fascinating.

Drugs Will Kill Your Friends | Comedian Rob Delaney reflects on his time in rehab, touching on how the adversary of one’s own self is often the most daunting.  Adapted from his book, on which I have placed a hold at the library.


Mental Health Link List

by Allison on July 4, 2013

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Our minds can often fool us into feeling more alone than we are.  And when you’re struggling with your mental health and wellness, sitting with that isolation emphasizes the bleakness.  This isn’t a list of organizations to reach out to if you are in need of immediate assistance.  This is a list of places online where people are experiencing similar journeys and sharing it in some form.  Do you have any favorite reads that are open about mental health to recommend?



Therapy Tales is a series of standalone cartoons about being in therapy and examining the interplay of communication of therapist-client.

Rebuild (Health & Home) – Lauren writes about an assortment of topics, including taking time to work through anxiety and her love of design and home décor.

Depression Comix – Clay draws a mostly PG-rated comic that’s a graphical illustration of depression from a personal point of view.  He does his best to tag with trigger warnings but be cautious if you’re sensitive to certain subject matter.

Mental Health Talk – About giving a voice to those of us who have lived experience with mental health issues and want to speak out about it.

Draw That Beast – (Interactive) Online Art Project about depression.

Do Not Faint – Originally started because Anne-Marie couldn’t find many resources about pregnancy planning with anxiety and depression.  Now the blog tracks what she finds helpful as a mother as well.

The Bloggess – Her writing is humorous, honest and packs a realistic punch.  She also doesn’t shy away from discussion of mental health struggles, especially her own.

Dippyman – Paul writes about mental health, family life, birds and anything else that amuses or interests him.

The Fashion Kidd – A fashion blog by Laura, mental health advocate and vintage clothing lover.


Listed below are my fellow Partners for Mental Health Community Correspondents.  We write on a range of different subjects from our varying perspectives.  No set schedule of updates.. a lot of us are currently in a summer lull.

Charlotte at Charlotte Abou-Heif (Pickering/Toronto)

Meaghan at Sea and Light (Ottawa)

Kristin at Adventures of a Survivor! (Vancouver)

Megan at Meg’s Story (Sault Ste. Marie)

Laurie at Sister to Psychosis (Georgetown)

Melanie at Anxiety Bites (Fort McMurray)

Allyssa at Growing Strong (Scarborough/Toronto)

Laurence at Tales of the Raincity (Vancouver)

Sara at Saratonin (Greenwood)

Allison at Mind of Change (Brockville)

Stephen at Brain of SNJ (Calgary)

Frédérique at Cahiers d’une schizophrène dans la cité   (Montréal)

Casey at The Sting of a Jellyfish (Ajax/Toronto)

Geneviève at Our Mind in Color (Farnham)

Meaghan at Taking the Path Less Taken (Dartmouth/St. John’s)

Ashley at Once Upon a Warrior (Saskatoon)

Kathleen at Rantings of an Accidental Feminist (Fredericton)

Jillian at Choose Good Project (Edmonton)

Stephanie at Waking Up and Speaking Out (Halifax)

Aidan at Speakbox (New Westminster/Vancouver)

Russ at The Other Side of Intimacy (Winnipeg)

Twyla at Inside the Looking Glass (Truro)


Love List: May 20, 2013

by Allison on May 20, 2013

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Purple Thursday

lovelistPurple Thursday’s.  Applesauce.  Having breakfast outside on the deck.  Savings accounts.  Celebrating the people I know.  Brunch with friends.  Hugs.  The word ‘lackadaisical’.  Lone wolf-ing it.  Weekly Nia+Hoop class.  Little tomato plants.  Invitations in the mail.  Trip planning.  Morning coffee on the weekends.  Watercolour crayons.  Fresh air on lunch breaks.  Reading in the sunshine.  Apples and peanut butter.  Beth Ditto.  New dresses.  Pink lemonade after a long week.  Mystery novels that cause you to stay up until 2am.  Mangoes.  Terrariums with air plants.  Clean sheets on the bed.  Re-prioritizing.  Calligraphy.  Leonard Nimoy and Zachary Quinto together in humour.


Just Another (Feminist) Link List

by Allison on March 8, 2013

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Cardinal Amidst Winter

Hey, ‘Lady’! An Exchange – Using ‘lady’ instead of ‘girl’ or ‘woman’

To My Male Relatives on Facebook Who “Like” Sexism: “Listen, I don’t think you’re an asshole who thinks it’s funny to do something that women find scary. You’ve been raised to think that this sort of stuff is all in good fun.”  A great article by Jessica Valenti.

How Great Would It Be to Relaunch ‘Golden Girls’?  “But networks don’t trust young people to like old people.”

The lady who helped inspire “A League of Their Own” passed away: Lavonne “Pepper” Paire-Davis

But What About Beyonce’s Band?  I dig Beyonce but her band of ladies rocks out in a big way.

Why Do Women Hate Anne Hathaway (But Love Jennifer Lawrence)?  This an interesting examination of the qualities we find ourselves resisting in others.

Exploring Gender in Cowgirl Narratives  The beginning of a blog series re: women and our ideas of gender and power through an examination of the archetype of cowgirl in different types of media.


Here’s a short list of well-known ladies I think I would be friends with…if we were to ever meet.  None of these are rocket science, as far as I’m concerned.  There’s clearly a common thread of laughter involved in these pseudo-friendships.

Amy Poehler and Tina Fey

1. Amy Poehler.  I know I’m not alone in this one.  Her laugh is infectious.  She speaks her mind & contributes.  Check out “Ask Amy” where she responds to questions from teenage girls.  I love that she speaks out about feminism.

2. Tina Fey.  She’s a great comedy writer and a hard worker.  She believes in women.  She wrote a great book.  Remember when she and Amy were doing Weekend Update together?  Those were some funny times.

3.  Rashida Jones.  I clearly dig her style.  I also like that she didn’t like the roles that were being offered to her so she went out and wrote her own screenplay!  Get it, girl.

4.  I would invite Rachel Maddow to my dinner party but most likely still be intimidated by her intelligence.  She has been open about her struggle with depression, which I also admire from someone in the public view.

Rashida Jones and Rachel Maddow


Just Another Link List: November 27, 2012

by Allison on November 27, 2012

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Just Another Link List: Nov 27, 2012

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Just Another Link List: October 17, 2012

by Allison on October 17, 2012

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  • I know it’s been several months since Nora Ephron passed away, but this remembrance written by Tom Hanks has stuck in my mind, particularly: “For a wrap gift, she would send you a note saying something like, ‘A man is going to come to your house to plant an orange tree –or apple or pomegranate or whatever — & you will eat its fruit for the rest of your days.”
  • Life at 36 – Discussion of what looking your age means.
  • You Should Talk About Going to Therapy – Getting rid of stigma involves the ability to talk about it casually.
  • A great commentary by Sandra Fluke entitled, “We’re Not the ‘Entitlement Generation‘”  I love her point that this isn’t about not knowing how to take care of ourselves, but knowing that we should take care of one another.
  • It’s My Birthday Too, Yeah – (via the NY Times) – Looking at our selves through the lens of math & how many people would you need to gather to make the odds of a match 50-50?


Love List: September 26, 2012

by Allison on September 26, 2012

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Restocking (decaf) autumnal teas, the Hobbit movie trailers, lady rap, legwarmers, Mel Brooks (!) and Carl Reiner on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, kicking gluten to the curb, outfits patterned after superheroes, nutmeg, cardamom, frozen bananas, the color teal, the word ‘starry’, a good night’s sleep, paperback mystery novels you can read in an afternoon.