13 things to do before I TURN 25 (in 65 days)

Bursting the Bubble, Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal, Products and Brands

After yesterday’s post, one of my readers suggested I come up with my own list of things to do before I turn twenty-five. I could think of a million more but let’s start with these…

1. go to a poetry slam with Cousin Amanda

2. go to Bar Buca with my sister and brother-in-law

3. shadow my mentor for a day to see if ‘Community Manager’ could be the right job for me

4. become a brand ambassador *don’t know how, but will find out!

5. spend an evening with my best friends and a few bottles of wine

6. buy a Polaroid camera/take more photos

7. believe in myself/break free

8. send a story or poem into a magazine/website

9. listen to music I’ve never heard before *suggestions @ROKR_CHIK ?

10. read my favourite books to my niece *the balloon tree for starters

11. go mini-putting with my love

12. go to Ripley’s Aquarium

13. visit the shops in the junction

Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo

Photo Credit: Poetry, Bar Buca, Wine with the girls, Polaroid camera, Music, Balloon Tree

Remembering the good/ don't be late/

Bursting the Bubble, Family Time, Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

tumblr_lzm1tn9vAf1qzlvmiMy biggest pet-peeve is waiting for people. When I tell you that I’ll pick you up at 10:30 am, I expect that you’ll be ready and at your door at 10:30 am, not 10:32 or 10:40, 10:30! It’s something I’ve had to get used to and I love love love my best friend to bits in spite of the fact that she is always late (mostly because she runs out of her house looking like this and it makes me laugh <3). 


Yesterday, it was my boyfriend’s turn to be late. I parked my car in his driveway and waited as patiently as I possibly could. As frustration mounted and smoke blew from my ears, I tried to focus on anything else but the time. I stared at the back of his car, his window reflected moving trees and changing clouds. They swam across the window changing shapes until I could see them no longer. As I sat still, everything around me moved. Whether you’re feeling angry, frustrated, sad, jealous, or just plain down in the dumps the entire world is still moving, why not just move with it? The world waits for no one! So think of the good things and get your butt moving!


The other night, while congratulating a friend on her engagement and squealing about how 2014 is going to be an amazing and busy year, I was asked what happened in 2013 that made it a good year. It took us, a collective group of three, quite a while to name anything at all that hadn’t happened recently or wasn’t a HUGE MONUMENTAL GREAT THING. We tend to forget the tiny good things, don’t we? The following day I had to read through my posts from 2013 just to remember what happened last year. So many good things happened that I can’t believe I’d forgotten them! Looking through photos and posts left a smile on my face and a fire in my heart. It’s nice to look back and remember. Why don’t I do that more often? I’m trying to find a way to turn my blog posts into a book – it IS my diary after all. Any ideas?

Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo 

Part of the Machine: Anchors, Goals, and a New Year on the Horizon

Bursting the Bubble, Lifestyle/Personal, Uncategorized




Photo Credit: Pinterest

Between watching the film Hugo and re-reading Minimalism: how to live a meaningful life, I’m feeling very reflective. I’m all over the place this week, perhaps it’s the combination of those two creative works and another year coming to an end. Between trying to figure out what my anchors are (what is keeping me stagnant, what is keeping me from becoming passionate and happy and creative) and trying to figure out my purpose, I’m also trying to make goals for the year to come.

My anchors start with my current job, gel with my fears and anxiety, and blend with my constant want of things. My purpose, my reason for being here, that’s a little trickier to figure out. I know that I want to do something meaningful with my life, I know that I want to make a difference in someone else’s life but that’s as far as I’ve gotten. Goals for the year to come: get rid of my anchors, I’m tired of being weighed down. Get rid of all those things I don’t need or use and to stop wanting more of them. To start having adventures and stop wanting purses or shoes or new gadgets. To spend time at the library, pick up books at random and LEARN (CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT I DON’T OWN A LIBRARY CARD?). To make more TIME for what I love, who I love, and all of the activities I’ve wanted to try.

So there it is, another list that will be lost in this unending world of blogs. A list not so different from the one I made last year. The reason I didn’t stick to that list is simple: I didn’t want it enough. If I don’t stick to the list above, I’ll never become the person I know I can be.

I know that’s a lot to take in on Christmas Eve at 8:00 a.m. and I should be watching The Grinch or something instead, but I had to get that all out before I felt like celebrating. Before I could wish you all a Merry Christmas indeed. I hope you spend the holiday’s with people you love, I hope you enjoy every single moment and aren’t glued to your cell phone (note to self). I hope it’s the perfect ending to a terrific year.

Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo




I think I’ve found a way to combat the Winter blues without maxing out my credit card or eating tub after tub of ice cream: KEEP ACTIVE AND SMILE! Instead of swelling on the things that aren’t going right or the things that are weighing you down, go out and do something else. I’ve spent an entire week with a frown on my face, walking around like some spoiled sour puss, complaining about a number of things when I really should be doing something. Instead of complaining about the difficulty I’m having finding a job, I should be looking for ways to improve my resume and myself. So I’ve signed up for a Marketing course and I’m going out and networking. I’m going to broaden my horizons and work harder than I ever have.


…or at least that’s the plan. Instead of getting upset at the first sign of struggle or defeat, I’ll use it to motivate me. I’ll forget about all of the timelines I made for myself, I’ll forget about rushing to “start my life” and I’ll focus on making myself better NOW. Because when you’re your own reason to smile, no one can wipe it off your face!

Here’s to a a wonderful December full of laughter, love, family, HARD WORK, and DEDICATION.

large-1Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo


mY Generation

Bursting the Bubble, Family Time, Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

I’ve been slurping up articles on the so-called GENERATION Y (anyone born between the late 1970s to mid 1990s) simply because I am part of said generation. Many articles discuss our generation as lazy or restless young people who can’t find jobs and who want to redefine what work is. So far my favourite article is from The Globe and Mail (by LEAH EICHLER), where she discusses the issues without making me feel like it’s my fault for not being employed. This article has given me a lot to think about and has also embedded some hope in my weary heart. Kayla Cruz, who runs the Lost Gen Y Girl blog states,“Big organizations aren’t offering young professionals opportunities to grow and expand their job functions, so they’re creating these opportunities for themselves”. I can list a number of Torontonians who are following their dreams, creating their own jobs, and paving their own way. It’s amazing and inspiring for someone like myself, maybe finding my way is actually getting up enough gusto to MAKE MY OWN WAY. First though, I think I may need to fly the coop.


“Parents today spend an inordinate amount of time being the advance person for their kids. When kids enter the work force, it’s time to let them go.” Kevin Shea 

Although I haven’t packed my canvas bag just yet, I’m thinking about it. My parents have never said anything to be about moving out, nor do they think it’s a great decision until I have a full-time permanent career. Be that as it may, I feel as though my independence is slipping away (or was it ever really there?). My parents do a lot for me, plain and simple. They know that I’m spoiled but feel as though I work hard enough for it to be justified. So what’s the problem? Well, I’m terrified that I don’t do enough for myself, I’m scared that I wouldn’t know how to survive without the bubble that my parents (and myself) have created. At twenty-four-years-old there are many things that I don’t know how to do or haven’t had to do — and that’s just crazy. Maybe it’s time for me to venture out on my own, to spread my wings and fall fly. Maybe it’s time for me to STOP being a stereotype and START paving my own path. It’s time to follow the dreams that have been lurking inside me, dreams involving travel, moving to a new province or city. That’s not to say that I won’t need my parents, that I won’t call them every single day or FaceTime them until they’re sick of seeing my face. I just want to make them proud, I want them to see me as the independent successful woman that they always hoped I’d become.

The time is now…or soon…ish.

Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo

The girl who stopped living

Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

When you read this, I’ll be in New York with one of my best friends! And while I’m exploring the city for a second time, shopping, and hopefully getting inspiration for a travel diary, I thought I’d leave you with a little poem. My first writing voice was a poetic one and I like to come back to it once in a while. They tend to be my most personal journal entries or blog posts, they always leave me feeling empty, spent, and satisfied. I hope you like it.

When Girl Meets Boy

The girl who stopped living

and the boy who just wanted to be alone

they met in the most unlikely place, filled with people, music and drinks overflown

The girl who stopped living (or perhaps never lived before)

forgot about her fears, her pain, and her insecures.

The boy who just wanted to be alone bumped into a girl

her bright brown eyes, so filled with life, caught him by surprise

— but he opened his palms and rolled the dice

“Hi” he breathed “can I get you a drink?”

A nod of her head and he could no longer think

red on her cheeks and he knew this was it

That evening they spent, attached at the hip

in the dark and quiet corner

whispering and things.

As the night turned to day, and the sun was born

the boy said goodbye to the girl, eyes still bright and warm

As she linked arms with her friends and strutted away,

the boy (for the very first time) felt lonely,

in the worst kind of way.


Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo

* Poem written on October 27, 2013 by me (Vanessa Grillone), share with care or leave it be! *

This is my happiness.

Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

I’m focussed on the present and instead of letting the moments, minutes, and hours pass by, I’m being conscious of what’s going on. I’m making an effort to notice when I feel happy, who I’m with, and what I’m doing. Visiting, eating, and spur of the moment dates are my happiness. A hand-held stroll leading to a phones-less lunch and conversation with my boyfriend, enjoying a wonderful meal, seeing him smile, that is my happiness. An unplanned mall and coffee date with my sister, reading a book to my niece for the first time, that is my happiness. Watching her eyes scan the cardboard pages, noticing all of the wonderful colours in front of her eyes, seeing her chubby perfect hand reach up and grab the bottom corner of the page I’m reading, as if to help me turn it, that is my happiness. Chatting with my best friend, knowing that she knows everything about me and is STILL my friend, that is my happiness. Spending time with my family, watching a scary film, and hearing their reactions to different scenes, that is my happiness. Human interaction is an amazing thing… so is love.


The happiness you feel is in direct proportion to the love you give.

Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo 

Blame it on Audrey


Times are changing, technology is taking over, and it seems as though EVERYTHING is shared. Well, I’m over it. Not everything needs to be shared, privacy is a real thing and sometimes I miss it. I’m taking a step back to re-evaluate it all, more specifically what I’m sharing, what I’m writing about, and what I’m doing online. On top of that I’m taking a look at my life, at who I am. I’m trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. We all know that I want to write but I also want to find a career where I can make a difference in someone else’s life….


What else have I discovered recently? Well, you can blame it on Audrey but I want to become a lady, with a capital L. A woman who takes care of herself, who dresses with class, and who is confident in herself. I want there to be an air of mystery about my life, a mystery that only a true Lady can carry. I also want this blog to represent all of that. I want to take this blog up another notch (or would it be back a few steps?) to make sure my words represent who I am.

Slowly but surely it will reflect a modern girl trying to find out how to be a Lady, how to blend the traditions of the past with the progress of today.


Love Always

Vanessa Xo

if you think adventure is dangerous…

Categories, Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

photo-1Somehow summer is nearly over and I haven’t done anything that I’ve wanted to do. I wanted to go to a cottage, head over to the beach, have lunch or brunch on a patio downtown, take a stroll down Queen Street and maybe hit up Kensington Market again, and I definitely wanted to plan a girl’s weekend. The only thing I “did” so far this summer was read and visit Niagara-on-the-Lake. I’m not complaining so much as I’m disappointed that I didn’t make the time to do the things on my SUMMER LIST.

After completing my internship at Random House and going back to Caruso’s Gourmet Pizza, I slipped back into a routine. Wake, eat, clean, work out, shower, read, write, eat, read, work, shower, sleep, and it’s been pretty steady for the last month or so. Contiki tours tweeted that Paulo Coelho quote yesterday and it’s been screaming over my thoughts ever since.

If routine is lethal, I’ve been dead for years.

So what can I do exactly? Head out on the open road and wish for an adventure? Try to pack in all of the things I wanted to do this summer in the last few weeks? FINALLY plan that girl’s weekend I’ve been itching to plan?


ADVICE in the comments would be delightful!


Love Always 
Vanessa Xo

P.S If you haven’t picked up your copy of Twenty-One Truths or My Pen, My Voice on Amazon.com please do so shortly — they will only be available for a few months! XOXO

“This moment will be just another story someday”

Categories, Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

The moment when you baked cookies, or made an unsatisfying dinner but he pretended it was delicious. The moment when you laughed uncontrollably and forgot everything, forgot that you’re scared that nothing is happening, forgot that you’re feeling bored. The moment you realize you don’t want to be sad because sadness doesn’t leave any room for creation. The moment you pick up a book and get so into it that you wish you wrote it yourself, you can’t wait to sit down and write one. The moment your dog craps in the basement and you feel like crying because you’re a baby and you’re tired and it smells and you don’t want to clean it up. The moment you feel so utterly confused that you can’t move forward because you are unsure of what your next step should be. The moment clarity hits.  The moment you make a list of all the things you want to do, all of the things you want to learn, and all of the ways you can improve and you realize that the making of these moments will all become stories someday. They’ll become memories and it’s up to you to make them.

The List

– learn how to cook

– write that book

– take swing dance lessons (seriously.)

– go to England, Paris, Italy, Germany, New York (for Christmas and New Year), etc. etc.



Love Always

Vanessa Xo