My week was off to an amazing start. On Monday I got to go on a field trip to MTV Canada and watch a taping of The Aftershow where they interviewed Kelly Cutrone.
First of all Casie Stewart, the MTV social media girl, invited a bunch of us Toronto Blog Girls to get dressed by Peach Beserk for the event which was super fun because the lead-up hype to the event was almost as much fun as the actual day. So I had on a pretty party frock to watch the taping.
I can’t wait to get Kelly Cutrone’s new book “If you have to cry, go outside” for obvious reasons. People say I need to stop being so nice and to be more assertive so this might be a good way to get on that track. Cutrone also famously wears all black. Which I am notorious for. So I am pretty sure I am going to love this book based on that alone.
After the taping a bunch of bloggers, Twitter people and media headed over to the launch of MTV Fora, their online magazine. It’s going to be released April 5 so stay tuned. Oh and I get to write for their next issue. Native fashion coming to you mainstream. #Awesome.
People got their panties in a bunch because blogger girls were at the party in prom frocks. I don’t get why that’s a problem but whatevs. We had fun. The queen of blogging, Raymi The Minx reigns over us in that last pic which I think is hilarious.
I finally got to meet Gloria Chik from urbanbloc at the launch and we had to document it because we actually “met” on Craigslist like over a year ago when she was selling her IKEA Malm bed last year and I almost bought it. Ha ha such a small world huh?
And then Sean Wardand I had an awkward prom picture. I think I look like a Catholic girl let loose and finally able to see a boy and Sean looks akwardly cute.
After all of that fun I had a quick change because the dress was slowly creeping down. Note to self: when being fitted for a dress suck it all in so it’s super tight. Off to Hemingways for drinks.
That’s all she wrote.
Kate Moss did a shoot with Mario Sorrenti for Vogue Homme for their spring/summer International edition. It’s ridiculously hot.
It reminded me of when Kate Moss used to model for Calvin Klein in the ’90s. I was totally in love with her then. I wanted to be her. So I ate lots of lettuce and forced my mom to buy me a white bikini. Which was totally ridiculous because I was so young and should not have been allowed to wear one. The weird thing is that day she didn’t blink at the white bikini but we got in a huge, massive fight because I wanted to buy baggy jeans. She wanted me to stay in tight jeans because she didn’t feel baggy jeans were “appropriate.” Very strange now that I reflect on that.
So anyways I got the bikini wore it to Cultus Lake once and was immediately thrown a towel because it was see-through. There I was on the beach in front of one of the hottest guys in my class practically naked and embarrassed. Little did I know that it was actually a good thing for getting his attention anyways. Sigh, to be a teenager again.
So of course when I got all growed up I bought another white bikini (with lining this time round) and continued to eat lots of lettuce. Here is a pic from a few years ago with said bikini in Muskoka.
The bikini really got around. Here’s me in it at Wasauksing in the summer of ’08. That was an awesome summer.
It was it was a fast blast of a week. Starting of the week at MTV Canada watching the taping of The Aftershow with Kelly Cutrone (full post to come later) was pretty amazing and a great start to the week. Then I spent two and a half days not leaving the house to get some serious reading, writing, and research done. That was a blast. Really not. No gym this week which is horrible but I did manage to inhale enough chocolate chip mint ice cream (my ode to St. Patrick’s Day) and chocolate mounds to make up for it.
Also last night I went to #blogstars which was a great talk by Casie Stewart, Sean Ward, and Raymi The Minx. Lots of Tweeters and bloggers in the room so of course it was awesome. It got me really excited to step up my blogging game.
Some of the Toronto Blog Girls got together to pick out dresses to wear from Peach Beserk, a Queen St. West fashion icon in Toronto. We wore them to the MTV launch of Fora Magazine – their online fashion, beauty magazine. It was their prom issue, so we thought it would be fun to wear something that is fun and young. That’s Unbrelievable in the middle and Casie Stewart on the right. My dress had a Mick Jagger print on it. More to come later …
I was having hardcore
PMS chocolate cravings and so I finally made these chocolate mounds from Elana’s Pantry. I didn’t have the mounds mold so I just used my mini-muffin silicon molds to make them happen. Super yummy and delicious and my bf adored them. A good quick hit. Plus I got use coconut oil in baking, which is great because I have a small obsession with coconut oil right now.
Last night I got to go to La Palette, one of my favorite restos in the city because I was finally in the Kensington Market hood. I took it easy and just got Duck Confit with lentils because I am actually going there for dinner again tonight and I can go with some of their wild game then. Show me the meat!
If you happened to catch Ke$ha’s performance last night on American Idol then you already know that she donned a headdress during the last part of her performance of “Blah, Blah, Blah.” The outrage that immediately followed in the Native community was huge. I didn’t get it. I missed the performance (I seem to do that a lot, I guess I should increase my television viewing time?)
Anyhow everyone was noticeably upset and angry about the whole situation. Jessica Yee wrote a wonderful piece on Racalicious a few years ago when Juliette Lewis wore a headband with feathers called ‘Indigenous Feminism and Cultural Appropriation.’ It was discussed today on The Word with Winnipeg Jules on StreetzFM and I was interviewed briefly for it.
The case with Ke$ha is more serious than the Lewis incident since it’s an actual war bonnet and not just based mainly on a Hollywood fabrication of Native imagery. The significance of the war bonnet in traditional Native cultures is huge. It is used in ceremonies, and it is only worn by those who are awarded them after many years of effort, and usually only be men. No artist would dare don a kippah or a turban so the same respect should be given to Native peoples and their traditional, ceremonial wear.
Now having said that I do find it interesting that hipsters do have this headdress fascination. I even wrote a post about it last year ‘Would you don a headdress?‘ Also see Native Appropriations post ‘The Strange Case of the Hipster Headdress.‘ I think that looking at this issue actually requires a lot of research and time to address this situation more fully. This is something I simply don’t have the band width for right at the moment and so I delve in lightly, minus the hours of research.
But all in all I think people are genuinely interested in Native culture as evident by our peppering in pop culture. I think that this is a good thing. Not everyone has accessibility for what authentic Native culture is. Many people all across North America (and the world obviously) don’t actually know any Native people. I know in Toronto I am the only Native person to many people here in the city. This interest is a great opportunity to discuss our real issues, and dispel stereotypes that are placed on us. And so while I personally don’t get hugely upset with the donning of the headdress, I do take this opportunity to open up discussion.
I do understand why many find it hugely offensive for Ke$ha and other performers like her to don a headdress in her performance. I think this discussion will open many people up to greater understanding and will look at the next instance of a performer practising ignorance and realize the cultural and spiritual meaning behind it and realize how inappropriate it really is. I also think it is a great opportunity for Native people’s to discuss their viewpoint and be able to create more clear lines of communication. So let’s keep talking that blah, blah, blah minus the blasé.
The research led me to this gorgeous style by Nicole Ritchie above which is a nice casual cool chic way to wear your hair. I obsessed about it for a while and then I finally tried it this week when I went to iskwe’s concert last Wednesday.
I partitioned off a part of my hair and held the rest of it back with a clip. Then I french braided it but without grabbing a lot of hair from the back part of the braid so it didn’t get really thick. I french braided until it hit my ear and then put it into a regular braid and kept going until it was long and then tied it with a baby elastic. I put my hair in a side ponytail with an elastic and wrapped hair around and safety pinned it in. Finished it with hairspray and with shine spray and voila I was ready to go.
Then on Friday night I decided to follow the same formula but felt a little weird about doing a bun while going out for Canadian Music Week so I did a thick, loose fishtail braid on the bottom part instead. I think it’s kind of cute but with the tank top, sweatshirt, and hoop earrings I kept referring to myself as “Jenny from the block.” It was a bit overkill but at least I felt cozy.
Now this look is seriously gorgeous, as is Ritchie’s frame here *sigh*. This look I would love to try next but I need a three-way mirror or my hairstylist, Rachelle White Wind, back in Toronto. Praise for pretty plaits.
Feather headbands are inescapable. Just when I think they have had enough “airtime” they keep showing up over and over again. Not that I am complaining. I do find them perfectly fascinating and fanciful in magazine spreads. I have yet to don one myself for fear of trying to be too ironic (never say never though).
This line Littledoe is Love gives good feather. Totally cute headpieces that are shown in a multitude of ways. The pics above are from the lookbook and while some scream “Native inspired” others are very hippie commune. Either way I kind of love. Some of the pics remind me somewhat of that Guess Jeans campaign circa 2003 perhaps? Chase Cohl is the girl behind the line and she was an intern at Vice a few years back before venturing out on her line.
This above piece can be purchased online at Maximillia in Australia for approximately $200 USD. When I look at all of these feather lovelies, I just think of doing shoots with them and how much fun they would be to photograph and style with ♥.
Last week was supposed to be my week 6 but I fell off the wagon and only made it to the gym twice. Fail. I didn’t get to cash in on the workout reward I was holding over my head: a Lululemon workout top. I figured maybe the reward wasn’t something I really, desperately wanted but it was more of a need that I thought I should have and thus just used it as a “reward.”
So I raised the stakes and decided this week I would buy myself a ridiculously expensive pair of jeans that I so desperately need. No really I do need them. For some reason I only own skinny jeans now and I feel totally ridiculous wearing them with sneakers which is all I feel like wearing lately (even though I don’t own said sneaker yet but anyways I digress). So I am buying myself a pair of Seven Dojo jeans that I used to have a few years ago but don’t have anymore and I am really not sure where they ever went. Sometimes I clean out my closet and give things away because I am “totally over” them for like a moment. Then I wonder where all my cool stuff went. Meh. It’s good for feng shui anyways. But also they were on my Xmas Wish List which I am still working through acquiring everything on there.
So I did make it to the gym three times this week and I have really increased the weights on all of my exercises so I am feeling strong and starting to see more definition. I don’t fit in my jeans differently just yet but at least I am feeling better. I upped my cardio time to a whopping 20 minutes now three times a week instead of 15 minutes so you know that’s pretty great (for me). I kind of sadly admire those girls who go on the cardio machines for like two hours at the gym but you never see them stretch or even lift a weight. So strange.
I must say though that my lifesaver in the gym is my trainer. And by trainer I mean the iStayFit application for my iPhone. I plugged in the workout routines from the Body Sculpting Bible for Women into the application exercise logs and I use it for reference when I am at the gym. It totally gives me confidence because I always have my routine with my on my iPhone and if I forget how to do the exercise I can look it up and it will show me a diagram of how to do it with proper form. It’s such a great tool and it also allows me to track the weight that I last did so I can stay the same or increase it.
This week was a great week in the gym I felt like I really have progressed and gotten into the routine. Now I will steadily increase weights until I finish classes (first week of April) and can switch up the routine to four days a week isolating muscle groups. That’s when I really will mean business. These past few months have really just about getting into the gym and getting my muscles and cardiovascular system somewhat prepped.
Thanks to all 46 of you who voted on my Week 5: Gymetiquette on what I should do about the gym bully:
- 43% thought I should just get over it
- 28% think I should just go back to my old gym where everyone was kosher
- 26% said that I should tell the gym owner about the gym bully
Since then I haven’t seen that scary girl at the gym (thank god) so I haven’t felt the need to talk to the gym owner. This week I was at the gym I was there during a peak time (6:30 PM) and there was over a dozen people in about a 500 square foot space. Talk about claustrophobic. So when this gym contract ends (at the end of April) I will move on back to my spacious old gym that is free of gym bullies. I can’t wait. They also have towel service, a separate stretching room, and a ladies only area should I feel shy.
-My boyfriend gave me a watch for Valentine’s Day but we finally just got around to getting back to The Bay and selecting just the perfect one and getting it sized. This Esquire ‘Venture’ watch is the one I chose. It’s classic but with an elegant twist with the black face and mini diamonds. My mom gave me an Esquire for my high school graduation which I unfortunately lost when the link got a little loose. I haven’t worn a watch since because my loss was so great so it seemed fitting to get another Esquire to replace that one.
-Excited for spring? Me too, check out my MSN.ca piece on Spring Accessory Trends. I am pretty excited about wearing silver again and low heels this spring/summer.
-Just in case you didn’t know this: do not look to The Shopping Network for fashion advice. Ever. Just look at how they styled their “Long Legs Yoga Pant.” Sometimes they do have cool items listed but you need to be your own stylist for sure.
-Spring is in the air and everyone is on the trench hunt. Style Blog loves the Joe Fresh trench for only $49. Great price and great classic styling. Can’t go wrong with this one.
-I got this Soiya & Kyo light tan trench from Winner’s for $130. I do like it but also am a bit worried that the sleeves are too short so I haven’t committed just yet. I found a nice classic trench at Bebe for $75 on sale but the armholes were too big (pet peeve). Surprisingly trenches at Jacob were $170. When did they get expensive?
-Toronto Life reports that a Gluten-free menu is one of the top ten up-and-coming Canadian menu trends. This makes me so happy because finding a restaurant where I can eat something other than a salad or a steak is seriously limited. Like less than a handful. Which makes me an awesome person to go out for dinner with obviously.
-Popcorn was eaten by Iroquois way back in the day. It was first noted by French explorers in 1612 that they were heating up popcorn in pottery heated by sand. I love popcorn and find it hard to give up but I don’t really believe that corn is great for my body. I still eat it though.
A few weeks back I was invited to the first ever Cover FX beauty blogging event. Which of course I was so excited about because I have been a fan of their products for well over a year when my makeup artist friend, Michelle French, suggested it to me. She told me the magic of how their total coverage cream foundation can even cover up tattoos and that they are an industry staple and so I was sold.
I have since been in love with their products. It even made my ‘Top ten things I can’t live without.’ They are a Canadian company that was born out of Lee Graff’s specialty in corrective cosmetology within Sunnybrook Hospital. During the SARS incident it was quite difficult to get people in a Toronto hospital she branched, joined forces with Jenny Frankel and they inadvertently started a cosmetics company.
And what a dynamic duo they are. Their company, now celebrating it’s ten year anniversary, to astonishing heights. They have won the “Best Prestige Foundation” three years in a row from Cosmetics Magazine and have joined the ranks in the beauty industry as one of the best go-to products around. They sell in Canada, US and the UK and have been depended upon by the likes of Angelina Jolie to cover up tattoos when filming.
The evening started with lovely cupcakes made especially by Sugar Baking, which of course I couldn’t eat (#GlutenFree) but I really wanted too …
Photo by Anjali Handa
which was at first a little awkward for me. Blending foundation – who knew I could do it? But the results were fabulous. I will share the details of how to do this in another post. But I am pretty sure that if you are shopping for a foundation you will want to look into their products because they are all made from a dermatologist and a chemical engineer, they are all good for your skin.
I am pretty excited about tonight’s festivities. My girl, isKwe, is performing in Toronto for the first time in over three years. That’s because she has made her rounds from Toronto to LA to NYC and is finally back in Toronto (at least for a moment). She is a TripHop and RnB singer/songwriter of Irish, of Cree/Dene descent.
She has been my friend for about two years and has become very near and dear to me. When I took over her life in LA for a few weeks back in November 2008 I was pleasantly surprised to find a rough cut CD of some of her new music that she had been working on. I of course uploaded it to my iTunes and have been singer her praises (figuratively not literally) ever since.
But because she has been to and fro I have yet to see her singing live and so tonight at College Street Bar in Toronto I get to finally see her in action. It’s been a bit of a wait, but I think well worth it.
This was a
totally boring pretty quiet week because I am mostly just doing my homework and freelance writing. So all else has pretty much fallen to the wayside. It’s a hard knock life. Luckily I am escaping this weekend to go to the Rock a Skin launch party tonight at the Tattoo Rock Parlour, the York U pow wow tomorrow and to Kinnie Starr’s concert at the Rivoli tomorrow night. Back to the boring grind again next week.
-I got my first serious blog hater who came around after my Week 5: Gymetiquette post (look at anonymous comments). I am pretty sure I know who this punk is so whatever. It is bound to happen but the funny thing is the worst thing he had too say is that I was not Indigenous enough. Oh ouch. I have only been hearing that my entire life.
Yeah so do I. The party tomorrow night I am going to is the launch party for Rock a Skin, which is a company that creates adhesive covered designs for your cel phones. My girlfriend Shannon told me about them and I just loved the idea. The cool part is that artists can submit designs and you rate them. Based on their popularity, they go into production.
So I am pretty happy that Native artist Terrance H. Booth Jr. submitted three designs to them. The Thunderbird is my favorite and it is featured above. There are a few other designs I like too. I can’t wait until they go into production and I can choose to rock just the perfect skin.
Guess what? The York University Pow Wow is coming up this weekend. It is even more awesome because it is now the only pow wow in the Greater Toronto Area since the Canadian Aboriginal Festival moved to Hamilton. So if you are looking to attend a pow wow in Toronto that is (somewhat) accessible, this is it.
Besides the awesome drumming/singing and traditional dancers they have all these craft tables that you can buy cool stuff from like sweet grass incense, beaded earrings, moccasins, and dream catchers (of course).
Bill Reid had quit his job with the CBC and had begun to explore his Haida ancestry, teaching himself how to carve and the art of jewelry making. Over the next 50 years Reid’s work embraced many art forms reaching international acclaim. But perhaps more importantly, he rekindled Northwest Coast art and culture and has inspired Aboriginal people worldwide to be proud of their heritage. Following the 1957 expedition, Wilson Duff began a spirit quest into the heart of the Haida Nation. His discoveries inspired anthropologists everywhere to see Indigenous peoples in a very different light than they had been viewed in the past.
This show is at Theatre Calgary only until March 7, 2010 with tickets from $41 and $21 for students. It was previously in Vancouver and I just *hope* it makes it’s way to Toronto.
N.B. Theatre Calgary ‘Beyond Eden’ page