A Sentimental Dedication to Thankfulness

It’s an interesting time for me. I’m taking a break. I’m on a reprieve. I’m making decisions + not making decisions at the same time. I think it’s the right thing to do, right now. I really only have one thing on my mind lately, and it’s not business. It’s love. Yep, love. Not that I have a person right now, beside me anyway, but in thought, and he fucking knows it no matter what he’s trying to prove. He started it, for goodness goodness. And I’m sure there are others who know it too, not that I can ask or even say his name out loud, but maybe one day I’ll try. (Doesn’t he just want me to wait?) Sigh.Besides that, my kitty was sick for a while and weighed under four pounds. He was withering away in front of me, but he’s got his medicine and is surely gaining his weight + his groovy groove back. I love him. Here goes.

A Sentimental Dedication to Thankfulness

Thankfulness and Buttons

I’m thankful for…

My kitty gaining weight + health + playfulness. My kitty sleeping on my bed right now. A job that pays for B School. This new game called Mind Meld. #DesireMap. Tea + scones. The cute guy who gives me tea + scones in the morning. Hey baby I wrote you a love letter. His love letters I haven’t read yet. Fart jokes. New friends. Old friends. Friends with benefits. Sleepiness. Seeing him in everyone. Everyone seeing him in me. Being Charlie Cheeks. Taking pretty pictures. Free samples so that I don’t have to commit to a $48 foundation I haven’t tried yet. This Beyoncé video. Pablo Neruda. Rihanna. Just hold on we’re going home. Coming home. Coming. My butt. Him liking my butt. Him liking my butt teaching me to like my butt. That the 99 B-Line bus is rarely monitored so I don’t always have to pay my transit fare, though I do when I can. That I pay my transit fare when I can so I have a collection of old tickets to sift through in case I get caught. The fact that I have an innocent face + can get away with it. The fact that he’s still going to pretend he doesn’t know me even after reading this post just so that he can plan a surprise. Me actually being sad so that I can play along for as long as it takes. Hoping that maybe he’ll ditch the surprise and cuddle me tonight. Eventually being okay with whatever happens next. Rain. I fucking love rain. Writing again. Writing for him again. Animated gifs that get the point across. A couple pretty polaroid pictures I took once. Thinking it’s possible to be friends with celebrities one day. Thinking it’s possible to be famous one day. That my mom thinks it’s probable I’ll be famous one day. That it’s probable he’s crying right now. Happy crying. No wait, he’s got something in his eye, both eyes. No, just cutting onions. Inside jokes. That he’s, PS, not gay. Yin yoga. These old poems. Realizing that after our first kiss, first hug, first cuddle it’s anytime for the rest of our lives. When eventually he’ll sing to me. That he’s perfect. That he thinks I’m perfect. That we’re perfect together. That I miss him so much it hurts but I still get to meet him for the first time in a long time. That my heart breaks sometimes when I think about him. That other times it bursts. That it bursts not only in my heart but everywhere else. That he feels the same way. That I know so because he said so. That because he said so I know so. Tomorrow. I really really really really really really really really really really really hope tomorrow. Or the next day. Or the next. Or the next. Please let it be tomorrow. Or tonight. Tonight would be the best. Right now in fact. Okay. One day. Thank you for listening.

13 Silly Lorem Ipsum Alternatives

I don’t use Ipsums very often, but since I’ve been redesigning my site, I thought I’d look for some silly lorem ipsum alternatives to use as placeholders while I write out the new copy for my new services. I’ve known of Cupcake Ipsum for a while now, but I was surprised to find an array of other alternatives to lorem ipsum out there. Even if you don’t need a silly lorem ipsum alternative, they’re still fun to play with. Have a look see for yourself!

13 Silly Lorem Ipsum Alternatives

Cat Ipsum

1. Picksum Ipsum

With Picksum Ipsum you get to choose Ipsum from a few badass actors. The one below is Michael Caine. Love him!

pull my finger! when i get back, remind to tell you about the time i took 100 nuns to nairobi! yes, i used a machine gun. your were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off. jasper: your baby is the miracle the whole world has been waiting for. my lord! you’re a tripod. you know, your bobby dangler, giggle stick, your general-two-colonels, master of ceremonies… yeah, don’t be shy, let’s have a look. you are as precious to me as you were to your own mother and father. i swore to them that i would protect you, and i haven’t. you’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off! it’s not the size mate, it’s how you use it. i took a viagra, got stuck in me throat, i’ve had a stiff neck for hours. at this point, i’d set you up with a chimpanzee if it’d brought you back to the world!

2. Lorizzle

Lorizzle is a fun gangsta ipsum. Fo shiz.

dolizzle fo shizzle mah nizzle fo rizzle, mah home g-dizzle amizzle, sizzle gangsta elit. Izzle shit velizzle, fo shizzle away, suscipizzle quis, gangster vel, bling bling. Pellentesque eget sheezy. Uhuh … yih! eros. Fusce nizzle dolor dapibizzle bizzle fo shizzle black. Maurizzle i saw beyonces tizzles and my pizzle went crizzle nibh crackalackin check it out. Shizzle my nizzle crocodizzle izzle ghetto. Pellentesque break it down rhoncizzle sheezy. Da bomb hac habitasse bizzle dictumst. Gizzle dapibizzle. Curabitur tellizzle urna, pretizzle daahng dawg, its fo rizzle ac, eleifend vitae, nunc. Mah nizzle suscipit. Fo shizzle my nizzle sempizzle yippiyo sizzle purus.

3. Pommy Ipsum

Pommy Ipsum is bri’ish.

Pommy ipsum for sooth cobbles rambunctious, for sooth half-inch it how’s your father blummin’, curry sauce the lakes devonshire cream tea. Off t’pub every fortnight ’tis red telephone box off t’shop, in the jacksy jammy git. Ridiculous Victoria sponge cake is she ‘avin a laugh know your onions rambunctious give you a bell and thus queer as a clockwork orange middle class Union Jack, air one’s dirty linen beefeater indeed bowler hat collywobbles pork dripping jellied eels atrocious. Victoria sponge cake bloody mary knackered fancy a cuppa, scrubber jammy git. Goggledegook jammy git shepherd’s pie one feels that Victoria sponge cake, guiness red telephone box.

4. Space Ipsum

Space Ipsum. It’s outta this world. Hah.

Buy why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may as well ask why climb the highest mountain? As I stand out here in the wonders of the unknown at Hadley, I sort of realize there’s a fundamental truth to our nature, Man must explore . . . and this is exploration at its greatest.

5. Kiwi Ipsum

Kiwi Ipsum is not about the fruit, but the people.

Cuz, right as rain, just a little bit, ay. Technology has allowed heaps good holdens to participate in the global conversation of bung wet blankets. The next Generation of primo manuses have already cooked over at the sausage sizzle. What’s the hurry Rangi? There’s plenty of pieces of pounamu in the wop wops. Rangitoto Island holds the most choice community in the country.. Lomu was pashing when the mean as burning my Vogel’s event occured. You don’t know his story, bro, this carked it housie is as fully sick as a sweet chick. Mean while, in West Auckland, Fred Dagg and Uncle Bully were up to no good with a bunch of bloody pavlovas.

6. Cheese Ipsum

Something stinks. Must be that Cheese Ipsum.

I love cheese, especially bavarian bergkase brie. Halloumi manchego cheese strings stinking bishop macaroni cheese camembert de normandie cream cheese cheese on toast. Port-salut boursin pepper jack cheese strings melted cheese emmental halloumi cheesecake. Squirty cheese monterey jack taleggio cheeseburger.

7. Hipster Ipsum

You know you’re Hipster Ipsum when you used it before it was cool.

Farm-to-table actually Vice Marfa. Twee Schlitz Blue Bottle, next level YOLO Tumblr ethnic actually banh mi church-key hella. Chia stumptown plaid kogi tattooed, fashion axe Cosby sweater 90’s try-hard asymmetrical authentic craft beer. Direct trade Pinterest food truck ethical plaid Vice. Austin gastropub pop-up Blue Bottle, PBR&B wayfarers Pinterest mumblecore gentrify. Photo booth fanny pack fixie, pop-up American Apparel whatever polaroid readymade paleo. Lomo YOLO fap narwhal stumptown letterpress viral.

8. Whedon Ipsum

If you’re a Buffy fan you’ll like Whedon Ipsum.

The gentlemen are coming by. So I skipped intro to evil or whatever, but how is it that I get an F, when this guy that we’re reading, Chauncey, can’t even spell? So we’ll integrate non-progressional evolution theory with God’s creation of Eden.

9. Cat Ipsum

Cat Ipsum may be the cutest on the list.

Hate dog shake treat bag, stare at ceiling inspect anything brought into the house all of a sudden go crazy or play time find something else more interesting. Leave hair everywhere run in circles so run in circles. Flop over. Make muffins. Leave hair everywhere. Shake treat bag play time but behind the couch so stare at ceiling so climb leg mark territory. Hopped up on goofballs hunt anything that moves, chew iPad power cord, but make muffins missing until dinner time. Rub face on everything missing until dinner time. All of a sudden go crazy all of a sudden go crazy behind the couch stick butt in face or intently stare at the same spot for intently stare at the same spot leave hair everywhere.

10. Newfie Ipsum

As a Canadian, I can appreciate Newfie Ipsum.

I’se da b’y dat copies de text and I’se da b’y dat pastes her! I’se da b’y dat mockups da page and takes it home to Liza. Hip-yer-partner Sally Tibbo! Hip-yer-partner Sally Brown! Fogo, Twillingate, Morton’s Harbour, All around the circle! Sods and rinds to cover your flake, cake and tea for supper! Cod fish in the spring of the year, fried in maggoty butter Hip-yer-partner Sally Tibbo! Hip-yer-partner Sally Brown! Fogo, Twillingate, Morton’s Harbour, All around the circle!

11. Far Far Away

You can choose from a few Ipsums here. But, Far Far Away is my favourite.

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth. Even the all-powerful Pointing has no control about the blind texts it is an almost unorthographic life One day however a small line of blind text by the name of Lorem Ipsum decided to leave for the far World of Grammar.

12. Fillerati

Fillerati is for all you scholars out there. Took mine from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.

‘Why,’ said the Gryphon, ‘you first form into a line along the sea-shore—”Two lines!’ cried the Mock Turtle. ‘Seals, turtles, salmon, and so on; then, when you’ve cleared all the jelly-fish out of the way—”THAT generally takes some time,’ interrupted the Gryphon.’—you advance twice—”Each with a lobster as a partner!’ cried the Gryphon.’Of course,’ the Mock Turtle said: ‘advance twice, set to partners—’

13. Fuck Lorem Ipsum

Fuck Lorem Ipsum gives you a few options to choose from too. I chose TV Kids’ & TV Dramas.

Hey, hey, hey! It’s Fat Albert! Now I’m gonna sing a song for you, and this is gonna show you a thing or two. You’ll have some fun now With me and the gang, learning from each other While we do our thing. Na na na gonna have a good time! Na na na gonna have a good time! Hey, hey, hey! This is Bill Cosby coming out with music and fun and if you’re not careful, you may learn something before it’s done! Hey, hey, hey!

Three Ways to Overcome Your Fears & Make the Jump Into Your Dream-

What is that one thing you are most afraid to do? It might be a sign of what your heart is aching for.

My biggest fear when I first started Stylings & Stories was that I had no idea how to start a business or how to get people to hire me. My business started out as just a website, I knew I was a strong writer but I was worried that my new design skills wouldn’t have worth against all the talent out there. To say the least, I felt really vulnerable showcasing my learning curve publicly.

But, with practice & patience I realized that my dream customers are the ones who are seeking my style. Voila! Fear conquered, for the most part.

This is a common fear, especially for most creative types. We’re perfectionists and we’re invested in the work that we create. In all honesty, a design or a story is never really complete with this mindset. You just have to decide that this is as good (*amazing) as it’s going to be for now.

Here’s why that fear was a good thing.

My fear & my vulnerability showed me how much I care. If I weren’t feeling connected to my work, I’d be feeling like a fraud. I’d feel icky about selling because I wouldn’t believe in the product or service I was backing. Vulnerability meant I was being honest.

Now, I realize vulnerability is like a rush, as if I’m about to jump off a cliff into cool deep water. I kinda want more of it. Since I’ve already taken a few risks, I’m familiar with the fear that follows and able to make a clear decision based on my gut and experience. That’s not to say I do every thing that makes me afraid. What I mean is that I make the effort to understand that fear and then make the best decision for myself based on that understanding.

Here are three things that help me overcome my fears:

1. Build a Solid Foundation

The problem with risk is that the result may not be what you were aiming for. This can leave you feeling like a failure or even more fearful to take another leap of faith. But, if you build yourself a solid foundation through your confidence, your drive, and your savvy business skills those results can be transformed into a valuable learning experience making you an even stronger competitor. Learn the tools you need to survive in the business world and set up a strong support network. Though you’ll still feel vulnerable, because hey this is your heart, you’ll have the support you need to continue onwards.

2. Make a Plan

If you’re feeling afraid to take a leap, it may be because you don’t have a plan. I know that when I have a clear outline for my next steps I feel confident that I can make my projects a reality. Take some extra time to set out your goals & work on outlining the steps it will take to say quit your job or start a blog. Big decisions should not be made flippantly but should neither be put on hold out of fear. Take action. And, yes, planning is action.

3. Follow Your Gut

Another tool I use to make decisions is my gut. I make most decisions based on a feeling and if the feeling isn’t right there’s something wrong. It could be that I don’t have the confidence in my skills or a solid plan or that I don’t trust the person I’m working with. But I’ve made enough poor decisions against my gut to know that those feelings aren’t to be ignored.

If you want to learn the tools to overcoming your vulnerabilities and setting a solid foundation for your business, check out Jump: Into Your Business, Your Life, Your Dream. We’ll give you solid strategies to building a support network, finding a mentor, creating a brand, and overcoming your biggest fears.

How Your Greatest Failure is Leading You to Even Greater Success

I’m so excited to introduce the Jump Tour, a month-long celebration of brilliant bloggers sharing their insider secrets. This delightful blog hop, coordinated by myself and Ashley of Your Super Awesome Life, is full of our favourite coaches & creatives revealing the qualities that helped them make the Jump into business. So, stick around to get the scoop.

My Failure then Success Story

Ever done something that felt like a failure but actually led you to something greater in the long run? I know I have. Like moving back in with my parents instead of toughing it out, like taking a month-long European vacation instead of looking for a job, like going back to University even after I already had a degree. And, this is a terribly short list compared to the many times I’ve felt like a total failure or flake.

But, here’s the thing. Each of these “mistakes” is a failure then success story that led me to greater rewards, realizations, and relationships.

For instance

…when I moved back in with my parents I was aching of a broken heart and connecting with them gave me the confidence to face the world again. I regained the foundation I’d lost when I moved away for University. It was a real tumultuous time, wrought with regret and self-loathing but it was needed and I couldn’t have healed without their support.

…when I took a trip to Europe instead of looking for a job, I had one hell of a time. But that’s not the real reward. When I returned home, I had the time to take a web design course and learned the skills that ultimately started Stylings & Stories. I wouldn’t have quit a job to do that. Yay!

…when I went back to University this fall, even though I already had a degree, I rekindled my love for art. Part of my aforementioned heartbreak dampened my beliefs in, well, everything. From friendships to faith and trust in my talents to trust in my thoughts, I completely lost touch with who I was and wanted to be. But this art class inspired me and paved the way for my spirituality, creativity, and principles to follow.

There’s a grander scheme

Though it may seem bleak, with faith, perseverance, and self-love you can overcome your challenges to make even your biggest failures smashing successes. If you want to learn the tools I use to overcome my fear of failure, check out Jump: Into Your Business, Your Life, Your Dream. It’s a digital guide that will not only help you gain confidence to start your business but also the know-how to brand it and connect with your dream customers.

What’s your failure then success story? Let me know in the comments below!

The Jump Blog Tour is hosted by Stephanie Hall and Ashley Wilhite, the co-creators of Jump: Into your business, your life, your dream, a must-have digital guide for new coaches & creatives. They believe in the transformational power of taking the jump and creating a business you love. This all-inclusive eBook will teach you how to start a business, find your niche, brand like a pro, and make the jump with confidence. Find out more here.

Interview :: Meet Odette

Meet Odette

Remember when I wrote about making friends in Vancouver? Well, I met a new one, through RSVP 33. Meet Nate Slaco, above left, and his pal & biz partner, Jevan Crittenden who together form the video production company, odette. They create brand videos for companies like Cariboo Brewing, Limelight Signworks, and most recently, Odd Society Distillery. Read further to hear about what makes the perfect brand video and the single best thing they did when starting their business.

1. Tell me about odette. How did it come to be? What do you do?

We’re childhood friends who decided to join forces last year. We both have backgrounds in film and video, and we decided to try our hand at collaborating. Our goal has been to work with companies and brands that we’re passionate about, and we feel that passion comes through in the pieces we produce.

2. What makes for a good brand video? And, If someone wants to hire a videographer, what do they need to do/have to get the most of the experience?

The best videos are the ones where there is cohesion in the vision of the brand between our client and ourselves. Working with someone who really knows their business and their goals and trusts us to understand and shape it into a compelling piece is a best case scenario.

3. What do you love most about your job?

There’s a lot to love… Working with your best friend is an obvious one. An aspect that we didn’t really think about before launching the company is the fact that we end up basically getting to job-shadow with all these really interesting and inspiring people. A great example is the video we just did for Odd Society Distillery — we spent a ton of time with the distillers there and got to see the entire process from start to finish on their first batch of Vodka.

4. What’s been your biggest challenge since starting odette? How do you overcome it?

Our biggest challenge has been getting our name out there. Our approach to this has been just meeting as many new people as possible. We have a policy of contacting people no matter how unlikely meeting with them seems, and it’s paid off.

5. If you had to choose, what’s the single best thing you did when starting your business?

It’s definitely been to keep our focus on working with people and brands we’re passionate about — making sure to keep a balance between jobs that you do for money and the jobs you do for love.

6. What’s the best piece of advice you can give to aspiring creative entrepreneurs?

Plan. Set goals. Persevere. Can’t remember where this quote came from, but it’s a good one: “It takes 20 years to become an overnight success. Unfortunately, it takes exactly the same amount of time to become a bitter failure, and you don’t know which one you are until the night before.”

7. What’s in the works for you in the near future?

Our main goal right now is to pursue work that will allow us to bring more creativity to the project. We’re eyeing some fashion video lookbooks as a possible outlet.

8. How do you keep your life playful & brilliant?

Have hobbies. Don’t be consumed by your work. And don’t take anything too seriously.

Thanks for sharing! I’m definitely going to adopt that philosophy, call ’em whether it’s likely they’ll meet you or not!

Be friends with odette too:                    

Interview :: Meet kaitcreative

This is Kait Jones of kaitcreative. She’s a freelance graphic designer in New Westminster and also creates beautiful watercolours that you can buy on her Etsy shop. We sat down last week over hot bevies to discuss art, learning new skills, and following passion. PLUS! She’s giving away a lovely set of holiday cards. Scroll down to enter.

Meet kaitcreative

1. Tell me a bit about yourself. What do you do?

Oh man, this question! Haha. I always say “graphic design” because it’s something people pretty much don’t question, and it always gets me through a US border check. I have a full time “in-house” design gig, but I get to work from home, yay! My free time is filled with freelance projects, watercolor painting, playing and hiking with my other half and our Vizsla, Jovi. I’m an ex-ski racer so I still make lots of time for the mountains, but I also do a lot of movie watching, and drinking Champagne on tuesday nights in sweats with my bffs. I also just retired from playing and managing my box lacrosse team, and have filled that time with wedding planning… I’m not sure what I’ll do when that’s all over but I don’t think it will be hard to fill the time.

2. I love your watercolours on Etsy. Can you tell me about how you self-taught yourself and what you really love creating?

Getting to where I am not was a slow evolution, I never dreamed of being a painter. I’ve always been a “crafter” and dabbled with paint when making birthday cards for friends and family from time to time. When we bought our home I started crafting up some art with the little Winsor Newton Sketchers Pocket Box my Grandma Jones had given me as a kid. I essentially tried to copy a few ideas I saw online and did a pretty good job! I decided copying didn’t really make me feel that good (shocker) and wanted to create my own work. I took two classes from a local painter who basically helped me figure out I didn’t want to take lessons to learn “proper technique,” and I kept up practicing by imitating the work of people I really admired. This helped me start to understand how to use watercolor to achieve a certain look, and I used what I learned to start creating my own pieces. Friends and family loved them so I put them on Etsy in early 2013 and things have been building from there.

I feel inspired by nature. I am not a painter in the sense of “realism”, I like to see things in my own way, but they aren’t abstract either. Items you’d find at the beach or on a hike lend me a sense of nostalgia that I try to capture. Those are my favourite pieces. I also love the cards I make, I like thinking about where they are going and what might be written in them. I love being a part of that exchange. Shipping orders to customers in Australia, Paris, New York etc. has really been exciting.

kaitcreative on etsy

3. Do you have a process for getting into the creative mood? Or a time of day that sparks inspiration?

Mornings are usually when I focus creatively, but also late a night sometimes. What I’ve learned over time is creativity is not 100% magic. It’s 99% practice, brainstorming, exploration and 1% magic. There’s something that happens to me in the middle of the night, after I’ve filled my head with ideas, that lends itself to a moment of loose connection, and that’s what I call the magic. I usually wake up and run to write those ideas down and sometimes struggle to fall back asleep while I work the ideas out further for the rest of the night. But if I don’t fill my head with ideas on purpose, those “aha” moments wouldn’t happen as often.

4. What’s the best part about working from home?

No drama and snuggle breaks with my dog Jovi. I’ve worked in a few offices that ended up with a lot of drama, and really don’t see myself going back to that. It sucked the energy out me that I need to do what I love. My current position is awesome because I can work regular hours without commuting, which saves a lot more time for me to work on my personal projects. I also have the freedom to decorate however I want.

5. What’s been your biggest challenge when it comes to working from home?

Making sure my regular job comes first can sometimes be frustrating when I have a great idea for a personal or client project I’d like to get to work on. But really I haven’t found working at home to be much of a challenge. I have a routine. I always get up, get dressed, make the bed and eat breakfast. This leaves me with some time to myself before regular work hours and what I do then changes all the time. It’s the first few things I do in the day that really set the pace to stay productive.

6. What’s the best piece of advice you can give to aspiring designers?

Practice and have confidence. Your clients should have some say in what your work looks like, but it should still look like you did it. This is pretty hard to achieve when you start out because you want to take every client that comes along. You will soon learn that the more you say no to the clients who are all wrong for you, the better you will get at finding clients who are a pleasure to work with. Then hold on to those ones for dear life!

7. What’s in the works for you in the near future?

2013 was a year of trying out new things. I had no idea if anyone besides my mom would buy my art, but now that I do I’m committed to really focusing on building the kaitcreative line and getting it out in the world. Getting into more shops and releasing more designs are goals for 2014. This may mean I do less web and client work but that is still something I’m debating. I’m also getting married in May (ekk) so I know for the next 6 months or so I’ll have to be careful I don’t overcommit to clients. Being reliable and consistent is really important to me.

8. How do you keep your life playful & brilliant?

I’m a planner by nature, but I also plan for free time. I believe in taking in special moments and consciously choosing to remember them. Usually that’s when a camera comes out and eyes roll at me… but they also thank me later.

I love a good adventure day whether it be a new hike, new mountain, new city or new food. Time with friends and family is important to me and I’ve learned to make sure I make time for them. They give me confidence, they are my test subjects, and often unknowingly help me with new ideas. I think we get so few connections in our lifetime that it’s important we take full advantage of the ones we have. And when someone brings a slip-in-slide over to your house, forget how old you are, put on a bathing suit and enjoy the ride!

Congratulations on your wedding, Kait. Thanks for taking part in this series and I can’t wait to see what kaitcreative comes up with in the New Year.

#MondayMuse :: Kid President’s 20 Things

I came across Kid President’s 20 Things last week and, with American Thanksgiving just this weekend, I think it’s important to continue living in the essence of gratitude. It seems, sometimes, that we can get in the mind frame that the world is cruel, that people are selfish, that we are alone, but all it takes is a stranger with a friendly smile to lift your spirits. Let’s all be that stranger.

BTW. Number five is totally my favourite. Let’s say that more often!

If you can’t think of anything nice to say, you’re not thinking hard enough.

Style Icon :: Chloë Sevigny

Chloe Sevigny Style Icon

Style Icon: Chloë Sevigny

So, I adore Chloë Sevigny. She’s elegant, classy, cute, and kinda weird. She always plays these offbeat roles that make me love her even more. (See The Last Days of Disco, Boys Don’t Cry, The Killing Room, and Big Love.) If there’s an actress I’d want to play me in the movie of my life, I’d choose Chloë Sevigny. So here’s a bunch of lovely pics. I honestly couldn’t pick my favourite few!

Chloe Sevigny Style Icon

Chloe Sevigny Style Icon

Chloe Sevigny Style Icon

I’d like to be more approachable, not less weird.

How I Lost 45 Pounds In One Simple Step

Now, I know what you’re thinking. What’s the catch? How could you shed all those pounds without even trying? How could you wake up one morning 45 pounds lighter as if it’d been wished upon you? It’s not fair. That’ll never happen for me.

Or, you’re thinking yeah right, I don’t even want to lose weight. I make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight every year and it never happens. I’ve tried everything, so what’s this all about anyway?

Well, I’ll tell ya. It’s not about weight loss. It’s about making a small change. It’s about achieving your goals step by step. It’s about doing what makes you feel good.

So, how did I do it anyway?

But Here’s How I Lost 45 Pounds, Without Even Trying

How to Lose Weight

How I lost 45 Pounds Without Even Trying

Just one step. And then another, and another. Literally. Walking. Walking to the bus stop. Walking to the grocery store. Walking to the bar. Walking home from the bar. Walking under the sun. Walking in a blizzard. Walking at the park. Walking to work. Just plain walking.

You know what I did even? I parked my car. I put my car insurance on hold and left it on my parent’s driveway. Crazy, I know. What was I thinking?

Here’s why it worked. Why, finally, after years of wanting to be thinner, how I lost 45 pounds practically in my sleep. It’s because my weight loss was a result of something else. A result of a bigger goal. A result of what I really wanted, which was to reduce my carbon footprint, spend more time outdoors, and, frankly, save money on my seriously lacking student budget.

I want to say it was a fluke, but really it was a bonus, a reward, for sticking to my other goals. And, because I was so passionate about nature, essentially, it wasn’t a chore to head out the door. I mean, I didn’t even have to wear workout clothes. I could wear whatever I wanted, a dress & heels, shorts & Birkenstocks, or jeans & wedges. All I was doing was showing up, feeling happy, and doing something fun.

And, that’s what For A Year Of Magic is all about. It’s about committing to our simplest, yet sort of hidden, wishes. Being in nature. Eating more exotic fruit. Honouring mother earth. Creating beautiful art. Connecting with inspiring people. You name it, I know you can accomplish it.

Want some one-on-one help achieving your goals in the New Year?

For A Year Of Magic is a day planner & eCourse full of goal-setting worksheets, motivational newsletters, weekly inspiring quotes, monthly writing prompts, and a Facebook group dedicated to connecting you to a bevy of like-minded people. And, now, you can have one-on-one coaching sessions all year long (or just a few sessions), with me, to make sure you’re setting the right goals, keeping to them, and creating the best year ever.

The Other Top 9 Things I Did To Lose 45 Pounds

Make sure you become a Stylings & Stories VIP if you want to know the other top 9 things I did to lose 45 pounds. I’m sharing my tips & tricks & stories, but only with my lovely VIPs.

Interview :: Meet Abra King

This is Abra King. She’s an artist, musician, quirkster and one-half of the creative duo, Megra. I met Abra when I was working at the Students’ Association of MacEwan a few years ago, and she always came into the office in a bundle of giggling energy. It was always a pleasure to see her and hear about her creative antics. You can read about the latest results of her inspiration below and be sure to check out her art, music, and everything Megra.

1. Tell me a bit about yourself. What do you do? What are your dreams?

Abra King. I am 23 years of age. I create. I draw. I paint. I build. I write. I play. I am constantly bouncing between projects whether visual or musical. It has been this way as long as I can remember, though writing music has been a more recent endeavor. The ultimate goal is to be able to support myself solely through my work. To be involved in a myriad of projects, my own and otherwise. To develop ideas and manifest them. I want to explore and discover (internally and externally) and live in so many places across the globe. Especially those with long winter months. I will live on a boat. I have a strong desire to be isolated completely in addition to my love of being immersed by new people and (often self imposed) artistic demands. Oh! To live in van, a travelling studio…not to mention frequent festival stops. Dreams of mine are large in numbers and ever-growing, those are just a few.

2. What makes good art? How do you make art? What do you try to say/convey with your art? Let’s talk about art.

Good art is true. It provokes a reaction, whether overtly demanded or not. It has the ability to, even for a moment, absorb one into another reality or just to distract from daily existence/your own brain. In terms of execution, I use traditional methods (dry medium or paint on paper/board/canvas) as well as experimenting with other materials (such as wax or ash) on found surfaces. It is rare for me to start a piece with a specific message in mind, as I typically find meaning once I’m well into the process. Though I have done a couple pieces clearly commenting on social, governmental and environmental issues; this is not typical of my work. I often create scenes or characters that I wish were around me.

3. What are you working & focusing on right now?

At the moment more of my energies are focused towards music. Writing new tunes, working and re-working old ones and playing for people whenever I can. I recently had my first recording session and am working on having an album out this winter. As of late, I seem to be making more progress musically though I am primarily a visual artist. I am working on a few commissions and recently have sold some originals and prints.

Abra King

4. Tell me about Megra.

Megra is Meagan Henderson and myself as a unit. We have known each other since infancy and have spent an arguably unhealthy amount of time together. She is my best friend and business partner. We have been going by Megra for a few years now, largely because it was tiring for friends to constantly refer to us independantly…and we always like an excuse to make a spectacle – Megra seemed limitless. Growing up we were constantly working on something, whether it be costumes for an invented holiday or a rap video for a friend’s birthday. I’ve always it found hard to identify with any group (not to say it was a goal, I have always had a lot of joy) but Meagan has always been a constant. While both attending Grant MacEwan (Meagan for Design and myself for Fine Arts) we realized that together we could establish a real business, a unique business, doing what we love. Essentially we are freelance artists; Meagan specializing in video and photography and myself in fine arts and music. Some projects we have been hired to do are portraits, live music shoots, paintings and personalized drawings. Working with new people and new ideas is a huge part of Megra.

5. What’s it like making a music video?

Strange. Unlike a recording or a drawing, it’s more immediate and unforgiving. Fewer chances for modification (at least in the way I approached it). The couple I’ve done were live, so maintaining my composure whilst playing mistake-free was certainly a challenge…and certainly not accomplished entirely! And then there’s giving your full trust in whoever you are working with to cut together a piece that is true to you and your sensibilities. It’s also super fun. Having another multi-sensory outlet for expression. Also working with someone, having a fresh take on how to present a song that I really only know how to sing and play. The whole learning process that occurs is super interesting to me.

Also! Check out this silly video.

6. What’s in the works for you in the near future?

More of the same, but on a grander scale. I am working to get my work up in more spaces, play more shows, enter more visual competitions and the like. My work will be more accessible and in turn I hope to establish myself, make a mark in this city.

7. What advice can you give aspiring artists and creatives?

Pursue what you want. What you’re passionate about. If you’re unsure of exactly what it is (and it often changes and evolves), don’t cater to someone else’s idea of what you should do/who you should be. Allow yourself to make mistakes. Do things that scare you. Explore- in terms of experience as well as modes of expression. Exercise discipline in whatever it is you’re practicing (hold yourself accountable). Recognize the value of your work. Get involved in your community- invest time in local music and art. Actively seek new places and experience new people.

8. Where can we find & purchase your art?

Locally (Edmonton, AB, Canada), it is in and out of a few establishments. The best way is to visit megra.ca/fine-art and contact me via email about interest in specific pieces. I will be listing prices for originals and prints in the near future. Or you can message me through our Megra Facebook page, where you can see my art as well as up to date work and happennings of Megra.

9. How do you keep your life playful & brilliant?

Woowee…I suppose by doing what’s important to me (which others sometimes see as trivial). For instance, sometimes the only thing I want to do is draw hybrid creatures, or destroy old computers and collect bits from the insides for a future project or make elaborate cards with nonsensical rhymes. Whilst I am lucky enough to have a strong sense of where I want to be and what I am compelled to do, I often find myself in situations purely out of curiousity. And I don’t take myself too seriously. Being a person is ridiculous and it seems a waste not to reveal in its mystery and hilarity. l never forget what my Dad always told me, “Never grow up…fully.” What I am finding hugely important as a “young adult” (that phrase always weirds me out) is surrounding myself with people who inspire me, have a sense of self, and are positive. At this age we have so much more control of where we inhabit and who we chose to have in our lives. Which is awesome. I try to accept the reality I have and create the one I want. Even in my short lived, semi-independant, adult life I have met such beautiful and diverse people. Just being aware of untapped opprotunity, places yet to see, things to create, it’s quite overwhelming and marvelous. Sometimes this world makes it pretty hard to be unmotivated.

Thanks for sharing, Abra. I love your inspiration for aspiring creatives. It’s all about doing what you love and persisting. I hope to see you again soon!