Girls’ Night Done Right

Lifestyle/Personal

A bouquet of bright yellow flowers with a hand written card attached, a long drive on a warm nearly-Spring evening to visit a friend, two hours of girl-talk and all-you-can-eat-sushi, countless laughs, and a screening of (the incredibly boring and weird) Fifty Shades of Grey is sometimes all a girl really needs. The last few weeks have been mentally draining and I can’t see the next few weeks getting any better. Life is busy and the older I get the less time I seem to have for impromptu girls’ nights, long text messages, or even phone calls. I always promise myself that I am going to be a better friend, a more thoughtful friend, and MAKE the time to show my girls how much they mean to me. And I will.

https://twitter.com/mypenmyvoice/status/578700981145321473

It’s crazy to think that we now spend our time together talking about houses and weddings and children and Home Sense. It’s wonderful to think that after all this time, after all of the stupid things we got into when we were “cool teenagers” that we’re still close, still friends, and still there for one another. I always tell people that I don’t have a lot of friends because I’ve never needed them. I have a handful of the best friends a girl could ask for…

“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.” Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Love Always,

Vanessa Xo

@Paintlounge with my besties #mybrushmyvoice

Lifestyle/Personal, Restaurant Reviews, Toronto Adventures

My besties and I went to Paintlounge in Toronto on Saturday evening. We walked into a bright lit room filed with chocolate brown easels covered in paint. At the far back of the room we found a table filled with different paints, brushes, sponges, blow driers, chalk, and everything else needed to create a masterpiece. Plus a little cafe where you can purchase a tea or coffee while you paint.

IMG_7128 IMG_7126 IMG_7121IMG_7123 IMG_7120

I want a purse that looks like this ^ — where can I find one?

IMG_7134

My besties and I jumped right in, picking out our canvases, grabbing our supplies, and putting on aprons. For a few minutes we stared at our blank canvases, not knowing what to do or how to go about it. “I’m getting anxiety over this,” is something you might have overheard one of us say. We all have Type A personalities, so we felt like we needed to plan our artwork, to sketch it out, to be able to erase our mistakes. Eventually we let go, and painted our hearts out. We spent over two hours painting, laughing, talking, and relaxing.

IMG_7140 IMG_7137Katrina (pictured above) LOVES love. IMG_7124“Vane, does this look ombre to you?” famously stated by Kathryn (pictured above).

IMG_7132“A writer’s heart bleeds a thousand times over.”

IMG_7136

A quick walk around the room ensured that we were the only ‘non-artists’ at the workshop that night but it didn’t matter, we were there to let everything out, not paint a masterpiece. What I loved most about this experience was the messiness of it all. I got paint on my favourite jeans, ruined my fresh manicure, threw paint at my canvas, and didn’t give a damn. Messiness is fun and deliciously beautiful.

Have you gone to Paintlounge? Would you? Do you like my painting? LMK in the comments!

Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo

Aladdin the New Musical [Recap]

Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal, Restaurant Reviews, Toronto Adventures

posterYesterday night the boyfriend and I FINALLY used our Airmiles Reward Miles to check out Aladdin The New Musical. Our package included dinner at one of 10 or so restaurants (we chose Fred’s Not Here), tickets to the show, two coat check vouchers, two drink vouchers, and two snack vouchers.

Dinner was lovely but it was nothing compared to the show: the sets, acting, costumes, and songs were absolutely stunning. Each scene blended into the next flawlessly and I was seriously impressed by the number of costume changes (it seemed like they changed into a new outfit every minute or so). Not only was the show a spectacle for the eyes but it was a treat for the ears as well, Aladdin’s voice gave me goosebumps and Jasmine’s voice melted my heart.

I loved that they took the story that we call grew up with and made it a little bit more modern. Most songs were the same as in the Disney movie but they added some great new ones, like Proud of Your Boy. A song that Aladdin sings to his mother who passed away, a song that shows how great he really is, how he’s more than just a street rat. The song added real depth to the musical.

High Adventure creditchrisbennion

With new songs came new characters, like Aladdin’s three best friends. They were hilarious and I loved the way they interacted with the audience! Their jokes were clearly for the new generation but were still understood by the older members of the audience. The children were mesmerized by the various characters and their big personalities — the actors who played the Genie and Iago were incredible.

Aladdin, Toronto 2013

My favourite scene in the play was the magic carpet ride, it left me breathless. One second you’re looking at Jasmine’s room and the next the windows break apart and are pulled in all different directions off of the stage. You’re left with a dark sky, a great big moon, and stars everywhere. Jasmine and Aladdin are singing their hearts out on the magic carpet, floating across the stage, as the stars get brighter and brighter.

Aladdin, Toronto 2013

And just like that, you’re in a whole new world, wishing you could go for a ride on that carpet with the love of your life.

If I could, I would watch this musical every single night until it’s over.

IT WAS AMAZING! GO WATCH IT. SERIOUSLY.

Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo

@MattelGameOn #GameOnParty

Just for Fun, Products and Brands

Screen Shot 2013-11-17 at 10.24.06 AM

Recently I was sent a GAME ON Kit from Mattel so I could host my very own GAME NIGHT! I took a little online questionnaire to determine what kind of “gamer” I am and they sent me some wonderful games. Apparently I’m a Strategicorn! Although I’m not very good at board games I love playing them. There’s something incredibly calming about sitting around the table with your family or friends, snacks at hand, music playing in the background, laughing, competing, and just enjoying each other’s company. How often do people do that anymore? How come people don’t find time to play games? Games that aren’t on their cell phones, games that actually require talking, thinking, and eye contact?

Although I haven’t hosted a GAME NIGHT, I’ve been taking a game out one at a time depending on who is over. I’ve played MAD GAB, attempted BALDERDASH, and enjoyed APPLES TO APPLES. All with different groups of people, each evening more fun than the next. I know that I’m always connected, always online, always ready to share a photo or tweet 140 characters of unimportant nonsense, BUT when it comes to family time (or friend time) I do my best to enjoy the people to my left and to my right. I do my best to be social and to have fun with the real people, not my Internet friends. Those nights have been some of the best nights of my life.

So, when are you going to invite me over for game night?!?!

Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo

“Nor would it be much fun.”

Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

I saw a picture of this book on Instagram and had to get my hands on it. Normally I don’t love collections of short stories since you don’t have enough time to fall in love with or get attached to the characters. I’m actually enjoying it more than I expected and I really love the introduction by Bob Shacochis.

On smoking, drinking, and screwing:

“They inspire great writing and bring a reader’s blood to the boiling point. Without them, the world might be simple and clean, but it wouldn’t be deliciously, fascinatingly, pathetically human, would it?

– Nor would it be much fun.”

I don’t smoke, I don’t drink very much, and I’m not all for promiscuity but I what I take from this quote is that experience is the best kind of writing inspiration. Writing about good times, bad times, ‘sins’, or mistakes is the only way to get your reader to fall into your words. Nobody is perfect and it is our mistakes that make us truly human. It is the ability to relate them, to share them, and to tell them, that makes a good writer.

Love Always 
Vanessa Xo

 

P.S. I am totally into this song. Love it?

"Nor would it be much fun."

Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

I saw a picture of this book on Instagram and had to get my hands on it. Normally I don’t love collections of short stories since you don’t have enough time to fall in love with or get attached to the characters. I’m actually enjoying it more than I expected and I really love the introduction by Bob Shacochis.

On smoking, drinking, and screwing:

“They inspire great writing and bring a reader’s blood to the boiling point. Without them, the world might be simple and clean, but it wouldn’t be deliciously, fascinatingly, pathetically human, would it?

– Nor would it be much fun.”

I don’t smoke, I don’t drink very much, and I’m not all for promiscuity but I what I take from this quote is that experience is the best kind of writing inspiration. Writing about good times, bad times, ‘sins’, or mistakes is the only way to get your reader to fall into your words. Nobody is perfect and it is our mistakes that make us truly human. It is the ability to relate them, to share them, and to tell them, that makes a good writer.

Love Always 
Vanessa Xo

 

P.S. I am totally into this song. Love it?