mind, body, spirit | january

It's time for the January edition of Mind, Body, Spirit, where I round up discoveries, decisions, and other delights that have been good to me during the past month. Well, the past few months really, as it's been a while since I've done one of these!

MIND: I've read a lot of great books in the past year. Really great books. At several intervals, I asked friends on facebook for recommendations and happily followed the reading list that accumulated. One of the most inspiring reads was Grace: A Memoir by Grace Coddington. What a life this woman has lived so far! You have to read it to learn about what it's like so spend most of a life in the thick of the fashion industry. Mostly, you should read it for Grace's candor, humor and wit. And gossip, too. She shares a lot of juicy stuff.

Do you ever feel like your whole wardrobe is a hot mess? ME TOO! My wardrobe—with its parts divided between my current rental, my storage locker, and the drawers of my parents' and in-laws' guest rooms— is incredibly disjointed. It's so inconsistent and frustrating that I usually just end up in yoga pants. Until my living situation changes, I'm really willing to try anything to get my style looking more cohesive so I've been doing a lot of research on wardrobe editing and rebuilding. Enter Into Mind, an aesthetically beautiful and info-packed blog that has become my main source of inspiration. With the tagline, "A minimalist approach to personal style and wardrobe building," it's everything I need. Check it out and be sure to read blogger Anuschka's post on Method Dressing. I'm learning that a solid wardrobe begins in your mind, and with deliberate planning and less impulsivity, you can build a collection you feel proud and confident to wear.

BODY: As regular readers will know, I currently splitting my time between Madison and Toronto, and all the other cities where my photography work takes me. This posed a pretty big challenge when it came to trying to stay fit. Yeah, know — if I were a runner I could just pack my shoes and run wherever, but for several reasons, running doesn't do it for me. My knees can't handle it on a regular basis and I find strength training provides way better results for me personally. I joined a gym last year in Madison which was great when I was here but it meant I didn't do much (read: nothing) when I was on the road. I am a person who needs to work out to stay even slightly in shape, so I needed a new solution.

Finally, I found DailyBurn, which I've been doing for the past two months and I couldn't be happier. I discovered it at my gym, actually, as it has a back room where you can work out to videos, which I found hilarious and cool, and those videos were licensed from DailyBurn. Anyway, outside of the gym, DailyBurn is a subscription-based service that costs about $10/month. You fill out a questionnaire and they suggest programs for you. To work out, you just login and stream your daily workout. The best part for me is that you can stream the workouts on pretty much any device. I use their app on my iPad and it's so easy. So when I'm travelling, all I need to do is pack my iPad and I've packed my gym. It's truly wonderful.

Another cool recent discovery was Lucky Scent, to which I was introduced by my lovely client, Claire. Bascially, it's a haven for fragrance lovers, and the best place to find your next signature scent. They have an extensive collection of niche and rare perfumes, as well as incense, candles and tea. You can get lost in the heady descriptions of each fragrance, or get a free private consultation to receive personalized recommendations. I did this and it's incredible. I'm totally enchanted by the scents they recommended, particularly this one by Histoires de Parfums. They also recommended this one by Comme des Garcons for me, but as it turns out, it smells better on Brian (I like spicy scents).

SPIRIT: Sometimes art is so good and so touching that it almost hurts to look at it. Do you know that feeling? Dazzling, like staring into a bright light. For me, that's Kirsty Mitchell's work. She began her Wonderland Collection as a tribute to her late mother and it blossomed into something truly spectacular. You can read the story behind the project, or watch some of these beautiful behind the scenes videos. You have to see one of her most recent images, "Gaia, The Birth Of An End" and read her blog post about the incredibly detailed and labourious process behind her most recent piece, "She'll Wait for You in the Shadows of Summer." Prepare to fall in love with this gifted artist.