There comes a time in every blogger’s life where one wonders if their blood, sweat and mascara-tinged tears will culminate into prized opportunities that go beyond the product review “honor” or the over-hyped “social event of the season” that usually turns out to be anything BUT exclusive. I’m not here to label myself above said events as I greatly continue to enjoy each one, especially since I remember all too well that it wasn’t that long ago that all of this was wishful thinking. But in the hierarchy of life, where we’re able to measure things against one another to discern the good, the great and the extraordinary, I’ll go ahead and say that if evolution is not at the helm of our efforts, then what’s the point of everything we work so hard for?

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When my dear friend Esther Garnick of EGPR (publicist extraordinaire, laugh-till-you-cry storytelling wunderkind and heart-of-gold gal pal) conceived the #TIFFEssentialsLounge six years ago, she must have foreseen that the industry was headed in the direction of the instant news boom that keeps us glued to the NOW and inspires our individual and collective pow-wows. While it’s not uncommon to hear of celebrity gifting suites that are replete with our entire Christmas wish lists, the Essentials Lounge, for its part, caters exclusively to the media, acknowledging the countless individuals who provide the masses with the LOL, RT and Liked content that we eagerly share with our plugged-in squads.

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To be part of a curated list of 50 media members that were cared for by Esther’s team and her select list of clients was a treat as toothsome as the Krispy Kreme donuts that were on offer that day for remorseless Homer Simpson indulgence.  What could one expect?

  • Complimentary makeup retouches by the experts of esteemed makeup giant Dior;
  • Beautifully bottled perfumes from the Clarins Group engraved onsite with each attendee’s initials;
  • Gifted Saucony sneakers of one’s choice that are so 80’s-Brooklyn fabulous that ya’ll we’ll know who’s Biggie;
  • The newest “fight-the-elements” products from SkinCeuticals to turn smiling facial frowns upside down;
  • Blogger-approved hair and face products from Cake Beauty to prolong that summer glow;
  • Pretty and breathable undergarments from Knix Wear that plays double-duty to classy and sexy ladies everywhere;
  • Lick-your-lips roti tacos and signature fried rice balls from the M.E.N.U. Food Truck to keep stomachs satiated;
  • And Smartwater and Vitaminwater to wash it all down as they perused the goods.

In addition to taking home all of these goodies, the tote also offered products from Polysporin, Oats + Ivy and Kosmea Australia.

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SURVIVAL + RECOVERY: saving the media since 2009. Now, get back on that horse and live to tell the tale!

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Thank you Esther and team for allowing this “Starting from The Bottom” chick to get HERE!

Avec amour,

– A

Photo credit: Cindy ‘WhoIsArlette’ Orellana



Life Lately…

We’re in it, kids: the change of season, the return to the grind, obligations, projects…life mundane-mundano. In the last couple of weeks, social media feeds everywhere exploded with “First Day of Kindergarten!” snaps of friends’ cute offspring, which either had us ‘aaaw-ing’ in a form of parenthood brotherhood or tightening our chastity belts for those of us who aren’t about that life. Throw in the proverbial ‘I Hate Mondays’ or ‘Need Coffee NOW!’ obligatory shots for good measure and we’re in sound business mode, no?

One way to describe life lately: PETRIFIED at the thought of having to uproot my life once again and leave my Promised Land. With less than four weeks to go before my maternity leave comes to an end, my mind continually roams at night with thoughts of my blissful year coming to an end — the return to the status quo has reached its ‘Over It’ apogee. Along with said thoughts is the rising of my body at the unforgiving hours of 1:00 a.m., 3:16 a.m. and 5:49 a.m., alert and moving in darkness towards the living room, where I either sit in complete silence or go into fervent prayer. This is when I’m most receptive to the Most High’s voice because I’m not actually shouting back at life with plaintive WHY’s, but am learning instead to ‘Sit, be still’ and know that He is God. A hard thing, I assure you, for anyone who likes to be in charge and has a hard time making peace with life’s unexpected turns of affairs and must contend with being relegated to the co-pilot seat.


I’ve met some incredible people out here in such a short period of time, some of whom have blossomed before my very eyes on the web and who are now living out their dreams in extraordinary fashion. I’m inspired by their frankness, their ability to continue to find a redemptive quality to this industry that can often kick them into submission, but nevertheless, makes them better at their craft. I’ve heard the stories of doubt, of joyful triumphs, of nasty setbacks and of life-changing friendships and in my heart, I feel that I’ve found my tribe. Donning my student hat, I cling on to the notion that I’m not here to be a sole spectator, but to also undergo my baptism of fire into the trenches like my fellow comrades once did. As my friend Esther Garnick reminded me just this past week: “Necessity is the mother of invention”; there’s definitely never been a better time for the will to kick me into finding the way…

As I gear up for my biggest project to date (you’ll just know when I strike), I’m tuning in to what is meant to serve me in this season to take me to the next one and so on. Just like everything else I take on in my life, I imagine there will be doubt, joyful triumphs and nasty setbacks to keep me balanced, hungry, humbled. And when everything else fails, I’ll do like Joe Cocker and remember that the best part of this little life trip is best explored with a little help from my friends…

Avec amour,

– A

Photo credit: Cindy ‘WhoIsArlette’ Orellana



Back to the Future

It’s been a pretty busy few weeks…doing nothing more than enjoying those final days of summer (I state this with death in my heart since the heat wave has packed up and left unexpectedly, leaving nary a Berger Post-It in sight). This is enough to make us weep in melodramatic Puccini fashion, but tragedy need not be our adopted little pet, especially when the season ahead is looking mighty sexy and promising.




I was invited by the good people of H&M to preview their A/W15 Studio Collection at the CN Tower last week and let me tell you that one must not fear the future for it is looking brighter than a thousand suns! I must admit I had become a bit disenchanted with H&M in terms of their last few collections, sensing a lack of “fire” from its designers — to the exception of a few bright and print-heavy pieces, most of their items on display reminded me greatly of the 90’s catalog-order era, where Rich-People-at-the-Country-Club style (chinos and plain tanks in a rainbow of colors) reigned supreme. I’m guessing my mental memo found its way onto the brand’s Ordre du Jour because last Thursday proved old love and second chances do go hand-in-hand like romance novels and love songs even in fashion.




The brand is looking to the future this season and will deliver our favorite autumnal palette of burgundy, rust red, pumpkin orange, dark green, camel, grey, black, off-white, gold, bronze and silver with an equal dose of gems and gusto. From fiery fake-fur coats that will adorn the backs of the Bold and the Beautiful at David Pecaut Square come fashion week (read: likely to trigger the rioting charge from animal-rights activists), all the way to bejeweled oversized sweaters and baseball caps, quirky sequined accessories, utilitarian street-approved footwear, and structural coats evocative of Moscow’s Gorbachev era, H&M is leading the futurism mission without the need of taking a middle-aged Michael J. Fox out of retirement to make its case.







And for those of us who happen to buy into the matching brood decorum (guilty on all counts!) I’m happy to report that the thematic tone and color scheme is further carried out into the men and children’s lines, an ideal situation for those photo ops that will have everyone looking the part of They Got Game brand ambassadors (the Instagram edition).


The collection comes out in 200 select stores on September 10th.

Avec amour,

– A

Photo Credit: Cindy WhoIsArlette Orellana



All-Purpose Bag? YNOT!

“Do you have your purse?”

“Yeeesss…Don’t forget her bag!”

“I know! What about the camera? Any space left in yours so I don’t have to bring my bag?!?!”

This has been the Groundhog Day dialogue of the last nine and half months and frankly, it’s one remake none of us in the OClan are keen on replaying until the end of time.

How can the family on the go remedy the lack of ease of being in and out the door without the feeling of hauling its entire life every day?!



To understand the damage, one must know what it is made of:

LITTLE MAMI’S ESSENTIALS | diapers; wipes; changing pad; receiving blanket; washcloth; bib; change of clothes; hat; extra pair of shoes or sandals; light jacket; sunscreen; bug repellent; toys; snacks; pureed food; sippy cup; comb and brush; sunglasses. Stored and carried in her ONE COMPARMENT #SELFIE tote bag since birth. Great conversation starter thanks to the kirky hashtag front, but impractical otherwise. Filed under #BaggageTsunami #SmallGirlBigWorld

HUBBY’S ESSENTIALS | camera and lenses; chargers; battery packs; wallet; study book of the week; magazine; notepad and pen; keys. Stored and carried in a man bag that has seen better days or thrown into my already packed lady carry-all. Filed under #MarriageBreaker #ManSwagBagPronto



MY ESSENTIALS | wallet; sunglasses; keys; laptop; chargers; magazine; reading book of the week; notepad or sketchbook and pen/pencils; a couple of USB keys; a pouch containing hand lotion, hand sanitizer, lipstick, deodorant, compact mirror, Tide To Go, Honest Company ointment, breath mints; single baby sock looking lonelier than Dan ‘Lonely Boy’ Humphrey (how did that end up in there?!); hubby’s last-minute thrown-in items. Filed under: #SpaceHackers #GimmeMyLifeBack


THE KID’S ESSENTIALS | basketball shoes; basketball shorts; wallet; water bottle. Stored and carried in his Nike shoe bag which we must secretly as brilliant — he’s obviously versed in the language of ‘less is more’. Filed under: #SmarterThanAllYall #PeaceRestorer

Can practicality and harmony coexist when the chaos of “too much” often halts speed, ease and productivity?

There’s a team that answers this with a resounding YNOT thanks to its thoughtfully crafted and innovative cycling, travel and everyday use bags and accessories, taking the guesswork out of #hustleshuffle in favor of more ‘Do You’ time.

Last week, I was invited by the lovely Kelsey Cole and the good people of YNOT to the brand’s Queen St. W. storefront to pick out a bag of my choosing from their new Magnetic Series line. Thinking of my family’s needs, I decided on the Magnetica in black for its sleek gender-neutral look and for the fact that it is made with water repellent material (‘Bye Felicia’ to baby spills), offers roomy compartments on all sides (back pocket laptop sleeve? C-L-E-V-E-R!) and has buckles that magnetically connect (hot damn, the #TinderofTravelBags).


I took my new bag for a spin to The Beaches on summer’s hottest day: in went all of our respective essentials, allowing me to not have to slave away under the weight of two bags for a change. Even as I twirled with miss CEO on the playground, it felt light on my back, with the weight evenly distributed throughout. I marched into the sun like the cool G.I. Jane I only dream to be.



Maybe I am her today and will be her every day forward…Why not? I’ve got this in the bag;)

Avec amour,

– A

Photo credit: Wil ‘Only1O’ Orellana



The Big Chop (or How To Reinvent Yourself)

I sensed that sooner or later, I would crack and it would happen; and by “it”, I mean the most significant hair chop of my life. Although I’ve been known to drastically change dos’ in a blank of an eye, going short and sassy one minute and long and flowy the next, my recent chop is the most significant one to date as it is the one that best represents my most personal (read apocalyptic) journey to transition yet. I mean, isn’t this the sort of change that turned spurned housewife Bernadine in Waiting to Exhale into a “Take Charge” sista? Or the kind of A-ha moment that made a coming-of-age Felicity drop her father’s carefully-crafted college plans for her in favor of her own artistic aspirations?

That word that best describes THAT feeling following such a change? LIBERATION, methinks.

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A little more than a year ago, I pondered what it would mean to go natural and not necessarily for the sole reason of embracing my God-given roots, which seems to be the en vogue thing to say when questions pour in. My philosophy on “Crowning Glories” is that women (especially Black women) need to learn to respect each others’ personal hair preferences and I uphold this belief even now that I’ve hacked away at my honey-hued tresses in favor of a short curly ‘fro.

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For countless reasons that run the gamut of taking a stand from historical consciousness to remedying severe hair damage, all the way to undergoing a sudden change in lifestyle or condition and everything in between, going natural is a personal story told from one’s own vantage point in life and which is weaved in with a past that taught us what we needed to know in order to become who we need to be. In that respect, openness and a willingness to let go of what one knows is paramount to that change.

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After doing my due diligence of researching salons versed in natural hair, I decided on Curl Bar Beauty Salon based on the positive reviews and booked a consultation. On the day of the appointment, I breathed in deeply knowing that the meeting would either make me come out confident in my decision or make me recoil in fear. Thankfully, Ghergis, the hair expert who met with me, is quite familiar with the anxiety women face in taking the big leap and encouraged me to follow my heart and intuition rather than sell me a laundry list of bias reasons. So after sleeping on it for a night (and placing a quick ‘Keep It Real’ call to my BFF), I returned the next day and let Ghergis do her thang!

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The end result surprised me for two reasons: 1) it didn’t come out as life-shattering (i.e super-duper short) as I imagined despite the fact that I only had an inch of new growth; this made me both sigh of relief and amusement because I imagined that my husband would otherwise have to scoop me off the floor from going into psychogenic shock; 2) I had my own A-ha moment minutes after Ghergis completed the styling and it boils down to this: everything I thought about beauty up until now was just one facet of the mirror — a woman, no matter who she is, CAN at any given time and place, redefine her beauty whichever way fits her world view and there’s not a damn thing anyone can say about it if she loves the person looking right back at her.

And that, friends, is LIBERATION.

Avec amour,

– A

 Photo Credit: Wil ‘Only1O’ Orellana



How Do You Like Your Fro-Yo?

“Forget art. Put your trust in ice cream.”
― Charles Baxter, The Feast of Love

Green open spaces that house communal shindigs of all kinds…

Around-the-clock festivals that put art, music and entertainment front and centre…

Regular celebrity sightings of Tinseltown’s finest walking our fair city streets…

Extended social hour for the overworked as they let loose until the sun goes down…

The return of favorite chilly treats to cool us off when le soleil is frying us to bits…



Those are some of the great things that are synonymous with Canadians’ favorite season (and deservedly so!) after being face-slapped with harsh winds, downpours and chilly air most of the year. Sure, we’ll agree that the other seasons possess their own charm (in their own PSYCHOTIC way!?), but now that the good times are asking to roll with us once more, let’s set aside sarcastic Anna Kendrick shower thoughts for a sec and focus on the golden opportunity at hand: that of becoming happy-go-lucky children again with Menchie’s, one of Toronto’s top purveyors of fro-yo (i.e. ice cream’s much sexier exotic cousin).

When EGPR invited me to the media launch of the brand’s newest flavor, Oreo Cookie, it was a no-brainer for this girl who thinks of frozen desserts as a third child. As a seasonal allergy sufferer who’s been barred by her Doc from taking allergy medication this summer because of breastfeeding, I rely on cool and tasty treats working they way down my aggravated throat canal as my tried-and-true relief solution.

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Did I mention that the invitation came with an enticing contest that would see one lucky attendee being crowned Menchie’s Ultimate Summer VIP based on their one-of-a-kind, self-titled creation?

A Fro-Yo Supremacy Reigning King or Queen title?!?!

Find that grinning emoji tout de suite and add THAT to your CV under your ‘Funny Cat Video Producer’ and ‘Professional Bistro Food Taster” skills!?

My own unique mix, which I named ‘Eat Your Karma’, was made with Black Cherry Greek Yogurt, Skor pieces, mini caramel cups, cookie dough and caramel sauce — a sugar-sweet concoction so lethal that the subway ride/walk home were deemed powerless against the newly encased calories.

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Earlier this week, I traveled with EGPR #GirlBoss Esther Garnick to Montreal to give their media its own crack at the Menchie’s VIP Title and I was beyond pleased to meet some of the most fashionable and polished ladies of La Belle Province. In addition to admiring their creations and hearing about their lives and loves, I feasted my eyes on one great outfit look after another, a clear reminder that these Québécoises are the perfect representatives of Parisian style this side of the world. All in all, a great day for mankind and the summer treats that keep us young…





I may never know the answer to Anna Kendrick’s existential fro-yo question, but I do know one thing for sure: whether in Toronto or Montreal, in Fashion and Fro-Yo, We Trust!

Avec amour,

– A

P.S.: Fro-yo fan yourself? Then meet me on Instagram for a chance to win a 10-voucher summer pack for Menchie’s treats. Friends don’t let fellow fanatics eat fro-yo alone…

 Photo credit: Cindy ‘WhoIsArlette’ Orellana



Good Times

I’m a child of the 70’s…or precisely, one born in that final year of the “Make Love, Not War” era (let’s not ponder how ancient that makes me, d’accord?!). I don’t have many mementos of my everyday toddler uniform from those times, save for a picture of a two-year old me sporting a red tee and matching bell bottoms (complete with a yea high ‘fro) as I stood next to a giant wrapped box that almost eclipsed me in size. But with the 70’s being fashion’s “comeback decade” this season and music festivals presenting themselves as ideal stomping grounds for psychedelic wares, revisiting the idea of fashion that expressed peace and freedom does make for a bold statement in these times desperate for positive change.



In recent years, my wardrobe has evolved into mostly structural and monochromatic pieces; but regardless of my new penchant for minimalistic wares, I must ALWAYS have prints in my closet: I just feel incomplete without them, especially since they take the guesswork out of “elevating” an otherwise generic-looking outfit.

Over the weekend, we had lunch with friends in Trinity Bellwoods, one of Toronto’s most beloved neighborhoods thanks to its eclectic and vibrant scene. Knowing that we’d be headed to the area informed my outfit choice for that lunch date: printed flare trousers obtained at a “ridonculous” price, as well as a perforated suede halter top reminiscent of Soul Train’s ‘Let The Good Times Roll’ disco craze. And although the temptation to go barefoot among park loungers and sunbathers seemed enticing, that’s where I drew a clear line in the sand: if style is a subjective matter, I like for my “matter” to include some level of sophistication and mine came in the form of buttery-soft leather wedges to complete the look. Il faut savoir doser les choses, quoi!? (“level things out”, my digital-aged hippies!) #parksplintersnomore




Bob Dylan sang it best: ‘The Times, They Are A Changin’ and we’re certainly witnessing this in many aspects; but in some weird paradox, the times are also “recycling” themselves, making the old new again (and none more so than in fashion).

What does one leave in the past and what does one take into the future?

Popular matter or subjective matter?

While the powers that be in fashion work on deciding the next trends, I’ll be out there today like my fellow countrymen and women, lounging and sunbathing, enjoying the freedom this country affords me to be just ME…either barefoot or in my disco-inspired sky-highs!?


Happy Canada Day to all of you who love this country and call it home — We Are The North indeed and so darn hot, might I add, that even Mr. West knew his daughter couldn’t have gone by any other name!? #boom #wentthere #ProudCanadian

Avec amour,

– A

 Photo Credit: Wil ‘Only1O’ Orellana



Like Father, Like Daughter } Father’s Day Edition

“So fathers, be good to your daughters; daughters will love like you do…” – Daughters, John Mayer

He didn’t know what was awaiting him: how his heart was going to open up bigger, wider and further than he’d ever allowed himself to feel until this day. But I gave him fair warning…

What does a man know about himself and the women in his life until a daughter enters the fold?




Of his mother? He owes her much for her unconditional love and sacrifice; but any semblance of the sinister Oedipus complex one may imagine is not part of his DNA.

Of his ex-girlfriends? They ought to fall back. Not a single one can claim to have ever gotten this kind of unshakable commitment out of him, even when they believed they had him “sprung”.

Of his wife? Far from a rival. Until now, the love of his life appeared to have all the elements of what he sought in a woman…until the one stemming from his bones — “the flesh of his flesh” — made him discover the earth below him, the sky above him and the fire within him.



She’s his angel, his #1; together, they’re intertwined in a universe where a man, until he meets a daughter, doesn’t fully grasp the extent and limitless possibilities of his love and desire to protect and nurture the minute he lays eyes on HER.


“Like Father, Like Daughter” goes one of the many variations of the saying. In the Orellana Clan, the evidence of this, it seems, is in the growing number of stills that pepper our family Instagram account, where matching bun shots, Sunday selfies and short video clips of their resembling faces are the modern day Kodak moments of Daddy-And-Me dynamos.




The hubs is celebrating his first Father’s Day today and it’s one he’s spoken about wistfully over the years as if the chances of it ever coming true were as grim as Command walking Olivia down the aisle!? #ohsnap #noshedidnt #Scandalmetaphor



But here we are: 8 months later, adjusting to this new normal dictated by a bubbly Daddy’s Girl whose father already dreads the idea of her going on dates, moving out or away or (eek!) getting married. Calling him back to earth (and present day!) is alas part of this lady’s daily list of B-generated duties:

Breastfeeding…Bathing…Banishing baby snatching fears

But I digress.

I love the sheer force of this growing bond and welcome it with the same intensity that it took me to recognize that their love is no threat to our own. It’s a different kind of love — that of a man who got fair warning, and when push comes to shove, handles his daughter like a BOSS!





Happy Father’s Day to all the men who hold their families down and to the Heavenly Father who loves us unconditionally in a way that surpasses all understanding…


Avec amour,

– A

Photo credit: Cindy ‘WhoIsArlette’ Orellana



Stop and Smell The Roses

I’m always impressed with bloggers who diligently keep their followers in the loop on a daily basis: whether through bite-size accounts of daily going-ons via Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, or through beautifully detailed blog shots, they hold themselves accountable to a higher standard than the often heard “I’m-a-blogger” hyphenated title. I admire them because I recognize that to have passion is one thing, but to hold fast the discipline to write every day is quite another.


Rain or shine?

Nature’s Hail or Hail Mary?

Running through meadows or riding the crimson wave?

Yeah, totally failed in that capacity thus far, although not entirely from a lack of interest or things to say…

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Life happens so fast that I often have to stop to take it all in, be in that moment and be fine with the notion that many things are for my own curiosity and not necessarily the world’s (which is something many of us have a hard time digesting — blame it on the #SocialMediaMadeMeDoIt disease). But that is a choice each one of us must make for themselves based on personal motivations.

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But ‘Life Lately’ in these parts has been light, fun, full of surprises…and flashing before my very eyes. With summer officially at our door, I’m eager to see how people in the Dot roll. As I continue to spruce up Casa Orellana, I remain on a quest to befriend the city that is now home, keeping my eyes peeled to opportunities to see, hear and do. I made a trek to the monthly Toronto Flower Market on Saturday to snag myself a bouquet of my all-time favorite blooms and to “stalkarazzi” regular folks in their element. The stereotypes of what big city folks are often perceived as could seem like characters from a Cindy Chupak novel:

Casually-chic moms pushing cherubim-looking tots in designer strollers followed closely by their beefed-up husbands dressed in their Saturday Golf best;

Proud dog owners parading their adorable and well-behaved furry friends and exchanging dog-rearing tips with like-minded animal lovers;

Young professionals scouring every kiosk with their girl squads or BFs while touting graphic print totes in one hand and steaming hot cups of organic coffee in the other;

Garden enthusiasts drilling vendors on floral terminology sounding far more like a long-lost Swedish dialect than gardening speak;

Recognizable lifestyle bloggers snapping the chic floral displays with shiny DSLRs while looking the picture of Topshop perfection;

Little Mami exchanging knowing glances with other babies in an understanding ‘Look Who’s Talking?’ manner as strangers’ voices rose to high-octave Baby Babble…

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What would this bestseller be called? ‘Hipsterville’ or the ‘United Nation of Cool, Cooler and Coolest’?

I kid. Just peeples going about their business on a Saturday the way any good neighbor would.

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Taking in the pulse of the city as the temperatures rise and seeing it morph under a bright blue sky, out on the streets, as bodies move past shops and people, and in and out of mazes and moments? A pleasure then, a pleasure now and a pleasure always.

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Here’s to curiosity winning the game from time to time, party of one or party of all…

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Avec amour,

– A

Photo credit: Cindy ‘WhoIsArlette’ and W. ‘Onl1O’ Orellana



Body Electric

Seems like everywhere I turn lately, rock hard abs, sculpted arms and chiseled chests are the stuff of dreamy IG feeds where the donut sun doesn’t shine. From Hannah Bronfman‘s plethora of daily workouts so hardcore they’ll have you reaching for the crying emoji, all the way to my BFF’s cupboards replete with organic goods, I find myself wondering whether every bite that enters my mouth doesn’t rightfully classify under ‘Fat Trap’. The notion that there can be no gain without pain is one I’ve avoided on and off for years, for no greater reason than the fact that I simply do not enjoy working out the way some people do.

Do the happy endorphins kick in after I’ve “Madonna’d” myself to sweaty disgrace? Yes.

Do I feel a sense of accomplishment when I’ve pushed myself beyond the limits of my weak limbs? Certainement!

But after all is said and done, where does all that machismo bravado disappear to the minute I leave the confines of Body Electric laboriousness?


With summer around the corner, the pressure to develop a Video Vixen body reaches its apogee and although for some, this serves as motivation to “regulate” one’s deplorable habits, in others, it triggers a rebellious stance against unrealistic expectations that are more socially-driven than personal. The ones in favor of the latter argument often bring up the rise in popularity of an ample BUM-BUM as The New Ideal, thanks in huge part to Beyoncé, Nicki, Jennifer and Iggy singing the praises of bigger posteriors; many will say that this is reason enough to embrace a new beauty ideal as opposed to the one being shoved down our throats by mainstream media. I, myself, have found myself on both end of the spectrum: one minute, loving my “Bubble Butt” as it sat comfortably in the tiniest pair of Guess jeans, and the next, reading up obsessively on cure miracles that could whittle it down to Mommy Butt territory, aka “Pancake” Booty.




But we’re not here to lead a Voluptuous vs. Thin war. Let us consider, instead, the more pressing matters at hand, namely health and self-esteem. When fitness becomes a priority and is the catalyst for being sane of mind, keeping illness at bay and lifting spirits up, they often clarify other areas of our lives, bringing forth productivity, activity and good ol’ happy. And let’s face it, no law in the natural world will ever be against such positive benefits.



BFF and I attended a SWEATBox session last weekend that was hosted by fitness expert and social media phenom Dawn Archer during her recent visit to the city and it was not only an energetic and fun session, but it also inspired me to get back into caring for myself on a much deeper level (and by deeper, I mean going above the “walk everywhere” minimum requirement). My pores cried every last bit of their sweaty tears as I jumped, gyrated my hips and  shook what my momma gave me to no end. In that moment, I thought to myself that perhaps the beasts that are my growing hips, my bulging postnatal muffin top and the overall sluggishness that attacks my every senses from time to time CAN AND WILL be extinguished if I find it in me to get passed my aversion for fitness. For now, Dawn Archer, you won this one…



I wish I could state for the record that all this hard work went the way of the Fitness Champ Hall of Fame, but you would be led astray — we promptly followed up all this Body Electric fun with a visit to the Mac ‘n’ Cheese Festival (Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Doritos and sriracha? #fingerlickinggood) and a quick trip to Bloor West for dessert. Sadly for salad bars everywhere, no remorse ensued.

What can I say? I’m a work in progress…

Avec amour,

– A

Photo credit: Cindy ‘WhoIsArlette’ Orellana

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