mind body spirit

mind, body, spirit | april 2014


It's time for the April edition of Mind, Body, Spirit, where I round up discoveries, decisions, and other delights of the past month.

MIND: Lots to talk about this month, so I'll jump right in! I found it so interesting to read this story on what a day in the life of legendary makeup artist Pat McGrath is like. Hint: it often includes 30-50 assistants and 2,000 pairs of false eyelashes.

In this short but powerful piece, Ricky Gervais talks about his path as an artist, success, and why you should never give in to pressure to go the safe route:"The broadest, most inoffensive, mainstream hits are so often the least 'talked about.' They just happen and wash over a disconcerting majority once a week."

I loved reading this behind the scenes look at Beyoncé's entertainment company, Parkwood, as told through the people in her inner circle (and brief email interviews with Bey herself).

I've been slowly reading all the profiles in this year's 100 Most influential People issue. I particularly liked this ones on Seth Meyers written by Amy Poehler.

The colour palette and vibe of St. Vincent's video for her track Digital Witness is mesmerizing.

Have you heard of The New Potato? It's a food and lifestyle blog that's quite different in both content and tone from its peers. I found this interview with Brett David fascinating, and this one with Kiernan Shipka charming.

Have you heard of Felicity Jones? She's an English actress whom I admire. This profile (and accompanying photos — love that pink backdrop) in Vogue UK made me like her even more.

My friend Nicole introduced me to London Grammar and I've been listening to them on a loop for the past week. Their sound is reminiscent of Portishead, Florence and the Machine and even Lana del Rey. Be sure to check out their moody cover of Nightcall.

BODY: I've been watching The Mind of a Chef on Netflix this week and was also interested to read chef David Chang's take on the virtues of "rotten" food.

Crème de Violette is my liqueur of choice, though it's almost impossible to track down in Canada. (Side note: please tell me if you know where I can buy it in Toronto?) I'm planning to bring a few bottles back with me from Madison so I can make as many Aviation cocktails my heart desires this summer. I also really want to try this one and a spiked version of this floral lemonade.

Last week I rediscovered one of my favourite culinary guilty pleasures: deviled eggs. I think I'll try my hand at this recipe in the near future.

SPIRIT: I really connected with this post on how to be an artist on Rock and Roll Bride.

mind, body, spirit | march 2014


It's time for the March edition of Mind, Body, Spirit, where I round up discoveries, decisions, and other delights of the past month.

MIND: Two TV shows have stood out to me this month, though they have absolutely nothing in common. Parade's End is five-part BBC/HBO miniseries based on a series of novels by Ford Maddox Ford. The period drama spans 10 years and revolves around the first World War. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Rebecca Hall, two magnificent actors whose performances as husband and wife are riveting. Be prepared to be both enthralled and endlessly frustrated by the characters in this series. On the other end of the spectrum, I've started watching Broad City and oh my god that show is hilarious. It follows the (mis)adventures of two best friends in New York, and is adapted from the web series of the same name by creators/stars Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson. The fact that Amy Poehler is one of the show's executive producers should give you an extra push to check it out!

Vogue recently shared a brief interview with Michelle Williams on her experience preparing for the role of Sally Bowles in the Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of Cabaret. As I greatly admire Williams, it would be such a thrill to see her perform in one of my favourite musicals. Have you seen her in Blue Valentine, Take This Waltz or My Week with Marilyn? She's particularly luminous in all three.

If you're on Goodreads, are you joining the 2014 reading challenge? Basically, you set a goal of a certain number of books you aim to read this year and keep track of the endeavour via Goodreads. You can also check out your friends' challenges and see what they're reading and have enjoyed. I'm slowly working my way through my challenge number of 40 books this year and loving every minute.

I am really enjoying this Instagrandma and her photos.

BODY: For better or for worse, the Kardashians have really popularized the intensely contoured makeup look. While their style is too heavy-handed for my taste, subtle contouring is something I'm into. I thought this post on how to contour without a kit was refreshing and that you guys might find it helpful. Also, this step-by-step post on contouring with foundation was solid (if you can ignore the orange-toned images).

Ever since she released her surprise album, I've been watching Beyonce's videos on a loop for a good three months. Naturally, I was thrilled when Into the Gloss posted an interview with Francesca Tolot, one of Beyoncé's longtime makeup artists. Tolot was responsible for many of the looks of the visual album, as was Sir John, who was interviewed by Vogue about the project.

SPIRIT: I loved this interview with Claudia Karven for Big Hearted Business's Inspiration Bomb Series. Here's one of my favourite quotes:

"I think we all feel vulnerable and exposed as performers and as creative artists. I think the older I get the more I realize how much a creative artist exposes of themselves in their music when they're saying what they write about, what they sing about, what an artists paints on the canvas, how a director directs a scene. There is nowhere for us to hide.You can see that person and their soul in everything that they do. So you are incredibly exposed."

Lastly, this post on Fstoppers on avoiding creative burnout by John Schell was just what the doctor ordered.



mind, body, spirit | february 2014


It's time for the February edition of Mind, Body, Spirit, where I round up discoveries, decisions, and other delights that have been good to me during the past month. Grab a cup of tea because I've got a lot to share with you this time around.

MIND: You know how I'm always talking about my favourite startup, creativeLIVE? Well it's co-creator, Chase Jarvis was recently interviewed by Forbes Magazine and had a lot of interesting thoughts to share, including how personal work is his secret weapon for success, and that time he hosted an intimate dinner party where a then unknown Macklemore performed acapella by candlelight.

My friend Alex Beadon shared a video on time management that's actually fun and introduced me to Toggl, a web and desktop app that helps you time and track your activities. It's a fantastic tool for any small business owner or anyone looking to stay on task and figure out how you're actually using your time. I tracked my workdays all of last week found the summary pretty illuminating.

I'm a big, big fan of Darling Magazine, so when they teamed up with Soul Pancake for a series of videos, I was excited to see what the collaboration would yield. This video on Power and Purpose was well-produced, and had some interesting food for thought. Although I certainly don't agree with all the opinions raised in the video, I believe it's an important ongoing dialogue about women and our careers.

Speaking of videos, K Woman, a fashion film directed by Hunter & Gatti and shot by Daniel Aranyo is just dripping with technicolour visuals. It's a treat for the senses, and features the colour palette of my dreams.

I really loved what photographer John Schell had to say about the art of improvisation and the importance of looking back at your work as an artist.

BODY: Toronto-based blogger Alyssa Garrison has created a lovely visual world within her blog, Random Acts of Pastel. Her recipe for Earl Grey Toasted Marshmallow Tea Lattes knocked it out of the park and converted me into a regular reader. I don't think I've heard of a more delicious sounding hot beverage.

This simple video narrated by food journalist Michael Pollan (shared by blogger Joanna Goddard) talks about the trick to a healthy diet. Hint: cook it yourself.

These hair tips from stylist Anh Co Tran are refreshingly clear and instantly applicable.

SPIRIT: Do you read A Beautiful Mess? It's a lifestyle blog run by sisters Elsie and Emma, and it's jam-packed full of inspiring content. Last week, Emma wrote a personal post about her changing dreams that felt hauntingly familiar and actually made me tear up a bit. Read it and know that even if you feel like you're straying from your path, it probably means there's a better one waiting to be paved.

The weather forecast for those of us in northern North America is fairly bleak, and I know I'm not the only one who occasionally feels the winter blues. My friend Lisa shared this short and sweet post on how she's finding sweetness in the colder times.

If you haven't watched Sherlock yet, you gotta. The performances are wonderful, and it's an aesthetically thrilling show. The lighting, the costume design, the set dressing, and the tilt-shift title sequence and establishing shots — it will all capture your imagination. And for those of you who, like me, think Benedict Cumberbatch is just about the best (and—let's be real—dreamiest) actor out there, here's a hilarious treat for you.

Thanks for sticking with me during this ridiculously long post. until next month!

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.