Liebster Award!

Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

liebster_awardThe lovely Lindsey over at Reeder Reads nominated me (yes me!) for a Liebster Award! Not sure what it is? Well, it’s a way for bloggers to share their favourite blogs and gain a little exposure themselves. It’s kind of a long process but it seems like it’ll be super fun, so I’m ready to give it a go. First I have to state 11 random facts about moi, then I have to answer questions given to me by Lindsey (my nominator), then I must nominate people/blogs that I love, and finally list questions for them to answer. Not sure if they’ll be into it but heck, why not? So here goes nothing…

11 Random Facts about ME!

  1. I recently discovered that I am TERRIFIED of kittens.
  2. I’m hate speaking in public and yet I always made it to the finals when it came to Public Speaking Contests in elementary school.
  3. I am obsessed with my iPhone, notebooks, and books in general.
  4. I decided to become a writer in the eighth grade after I wrote and presented a monologue in front of my class. I got 100% and my english accent was amazing — the monologue was about Harry Potter’s first Quidditch match.
  5. I don’t like massages — being naked and touched by a stranger makes me feel icky rather than relaxed.
  6. In the first (or second grade, I can’t remember) I peed my pants at school, right before I made it to the bathroom. I hid out in a stall until my teacher came looking for me.
  7. I love to travel and hope to head to Europe within the next few years.
  8. I will get married in a bookstore (preferably Ben McNally Books in Toronto).
  9. I cry every single time I watch Lilo and Stitch, even though Tangled is my favourite Disney movie of all time.
  10. I love having my nails and toenails painted.
  11. I work on my self-confidence every single day.

Answers to Lindsey’s Questions

What is the one book you could never ever part with or get rid of?

How can I choose just one?? Since interning at Random House and becoming a book blogger, I have so many books on my shelf that I want to keep forever and ever. So, if I had to choose JUST ONE that I could never part with, it would be impossible. There are three books I could never ever part with. I’ve reread Speak and The Alchemist more times than I can recall. They have both brought me to tears and have helped shape the person I have become. They helped me find my voice. As for The Aftermath, it’s a signed advanced reading copy of an amazing read but it’s much more than that to me. I spent a day with Mr. Brook and his daughter, accompanying them to stock signings and bookstores. It was a truly amazing experience with a wonderful author, who shared some advice that I will never forget.

Thats what writers do. They spin plates and see how much they can get away with.”


Paper book or eBooks? Why?

PAPER BOOK FOREVER AND EVER. I love writing notes in my books, I love the smell of the pages, and the sound they make when you flip through them. I love bookmarks and holding a book in my hand — no matter how heavy it makes my purse or my luggage.

If you could travel to one place in the world (all expenses paid), where would it be and why? 

England. It is super literary and I like their accents.)

If you could meet one author (dead or alive), who would it be and why? 

I met Michael Ondaatje at a book signing so I guess the answer would have to be Anais Nin or Dorothy Parker or J.K. Rowling. I just can’t decide.

Do you play music while you read?

Not usually, it depends on my mood or how loud everyone in the house is being.

If you could create a dish with any cookbook author, who would you want to cook with?

I’m not big on cookbooks, although I should be because my cooking skills are lacking quite a bit. I would have to say Chuck Hughes and not just because he’s super dreamy.


Okay, it’s mostly because he’s super dreamy.

If you were given $5000 to spend in one store in the world, where would you do your shopping?


Do you have a favourite quote? Can you share it with us? 

I look up quotes like they’re going out of style but here is one I’m currently obsessed with…


If you had to be a member of a literary family, which family would you join?

The Weasley’s or the Weird’s.

Do you have a bad habit when reading? Twirling hair? Clicking your tongue? Tapping your foot? 

I tend to bite my lip or furrow my brows.

Who is the one author or book that has changed the way you read?

Every book I’ve read has changed the way I read. Every experience is different and I appreciate them all. I can’t answer this one! GREAT QUESTIONS LINDSEY! ❤

Liebster Award Nominations

Kaley from Books Etc. trained me on my first week interning at Random House of Canada. She is a treat! Sweet, supportive, and one of the most bookish people I know! I knew I made a friend for life after only a WEEK of working with her.

Amanda from Not A Model Blog has a writing style that makes me swoon. Her words are like butter on a crusty, freshly baked loaf with an aroma that lingers for days. She’s a lifestyle blogger who writes about everything from fashion to everyday beauties to travel diaries to book reviews. Her posts have a powerful honesty about them and are just as wonderful as the writer herself.

Romi from Confessions of a Chick in Paris is a self-published author with sass and unbelievable whit. Her success and determination has inspired me beyond belief.

Deanne from My Fash Avenue is my go-to blog for fashion inspiration. I’ve been following her blog practically since its conception and to see how far it’s come is truly inspiring! She’s made a huge name for herself in the fashion blogging world and I’ve loved following her along the way.

Casie from This Is My Life is someone you’ve heard me talk about more than once. She’s an influencer and personal friend of mine. She was blogging before blogging was cool and I am so thankful for all of her advice and help since the start of My Pen, My Voice.

* Questions for the nominees *

1. What is one book you’ve reread over and over again?

2. If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it?

3. Who would play you in the movie of your life?

4. Why did you start your blog?

5. What’s your go-to outfit?

6. Who is your biggest inspiration?

7. If you could have coffee with one person in the world (alive or dead) who would it be? What would you ask them?

8. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Thanks to Lindsey for the nomination! I would like to mention that had they not already been nominated, Lindsey and Maria (from I Believe In Story) would have been on my list as well! To all those who had stumbled upon My Pen, My Voice because of Lindsey, it’s nice to meet you! I hope we’ll be seeing each other again soon!

Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo

Twitter for the WIN — a #SparkSessions Recap from someone who didn’t attend

Fashion & Beauty, Just for Fun, Products and Brands, Toronto Adventures

It’s nearly impossible to recap an event that you didn’t attend. Nearly impossible, unless you follow the event’s hashtags all weekend (even when you’re relaxing at the Mohawk Inn & Conference Centre in Campellville Ontario). I’m not a Beauty or Fashion blogger, even though some of my posts tend to lean that way. I’m a Lifestyle blogger who loves to write and even though Spark Sessions is geared towards Beauty and Fashion bloggers, I think any type of blogger could gain something from their event.  With the amazing panels, various brands, and numerous bloggers in attendance, I’m quite sad I missed it. I’ve heard nothing but great things about it and am so glad I had Twitter to help me learn a few things from some of the greats!

Here are my favourite quotes/tweets from the event, search #sparksessions on Twitter to view more.

Anum Khan ‏@summerxskin
Kamilla Berdin ‏@KamillaBerdin#sparksessions
  • “Blogging is not a set it and forget it business” @DaintyGirl_TO
Stephanie Fusco ‏@stephaniefusco
  • Bloggers: be honest. If you didn’t love something, say so or don’t say anything at all. Free for you, $150 for someone else. #sparksessions
Chic Darling ‏@ChicDarling
Spark Sessions ‏@SparkSessions
  • Blogging is a career that comes out of passion. It is never a choice you make for financial gain. @LaineyGossip #sparksessions
  • Even if you’re not a journalist, editors work with you to become better writers as long as you are eager and willing #sparksessions
  • Be honest. Don’t over-inflate your writing experience. #sparksessions
  • Bloggers should check which posts get most traffic and have the lowest bounce rate for each style or type of blogpost #sparksessions
  • Just because you’re not a perfect writer now doesn’t mean you can’t work your way to be there. #sparksessions

Did you attend Spark Sessions? Tell me all about it!!


Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo


tomorrow tomorrow I love ya tomorrow

Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal


And that day will be AWESOME. Thanks to HTC Canada and Casie Stewart, one of my all-time blogging dreams will be coming true. You’ll have to stay tuned for it but basically…


*waiting. I’ve been waiting for this moment my entire blogging career. So check out THIS IS MY LIFE tomorrow morning and you’ll totally understand my excitement. Until then, keep smiling, keep laughing, and keep enjoying your life! It’s all the little moments, little acts of kindness, and little triumphs that matter most, enjoy them.


Love Always

Vanessa Xo 

Book and Blog Tour(ish)

Book Reviews, Lifestyle/Personal

IMG_1793Many of you know that I published my first book in February of 2011. My Pen, My Voice is not only my diary but also the inspiration behind this blog — behind the reason for sharing my writing online. I’ve decided that I haven’t quite finished with My Pen, My Voice, as such I’ve sent copies out to various bloggers in hopes to get some honest reviews of it. Positive or negative I will post links to the reviews right here, via Twitter, and Facebook. Below you will find the dates and blogs that my book will be reviewed on (as more bloggers sign on, I’ll add them too).

I’m a little nervous about all this since some of these reviewers have never met me and therefore have no reason to give me a positive review. They have promised to tell me their honest opinion and although I advocate honesty and I promised to share ALL reviews, including the negative.

The fun will begin on July 22nd and continue every Monday after until the end of August (hopefully). If you’ve read my book, feel free to share your thoughts and insights on these blogs or right here in the comments.

July 22nd – Review on I Believe in Story by Maria Vicente

July 29th – Review on Books Etc. by Kaley Stewart

August 5th – Review on Ham and Eggs by Karlee May

August 19th – Review on Words of Mystery by LLN

Love Always

Vanessa Xo

Happy 25 Years, Ted!!

Fashion & Beauty, Products and Brands


Last night, Casie Stewart (THIS IS MY LIFE) hosted an event for Ted Baker London at Yorkdale Shopping Centre. Although I would have loved to attend this event, I decided to sign up for a seminar at Ryerson instead (which means I have zero spending money left this month). If you RSVP’d to the event you got 25% off your in store purchase (or any online purchase). I know my wallet is thankful that I didn’t attend since EVERYTHING on their website seems like something I would purchase. Here are some of my favourite pieces – I have a recent obsession with dresses and peplum.

Thanks to Casie I’ve fallen in love with a new brand!

I’m looking forward to walking into Ted Baker London sometime soon to splurge on something special for the summer

— a girl’s got to treat herself once in a while 😉

Love Always 

Vanessa Xo

P.S. What’s your favourite piece from the Ted Baker London website??