Inspiration for living a luxuriously and balanced life

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

My Piece of the City

Celia with Director Mozen Mossanen
Last week I had the privilege of attending a private pre-screening of My Piece of the City, at Daniels Spectrum. A brilliant documentary by Director Moze Mossanen and Producer Teresa M. Ho. The film gives audiences a glimpse of the early days of this area in Toronto; how it came to be Regent Park and the current revitalization as viewed by youth who call this community home.

I walked away feeling Regent Park is more than just a Toronto neighbourhood, and definitely not what the media has represented it as. It is a community of amazing people - young and old from all walks of life. And what a blessing that it's part of Toronto! The cast gives a wonderful performance, I found myself connecting and cheering them all on - as their journey came to life with each frame of the film. I highly recommend you put this on your must see film list - World Premiere Screening Saturday November 18th 2017! (see below to reserve your seat)

MY PIECE OF THE CITY is a new feature-length documentary that tells the story about a group of remarkable young artists in Toronto’s inner-city community of Regent Park as their community undergoes one of the most dramatic urban revitalizations in North America. The young artists come together to perform THE JOURNEY, a musical that helps them explore various challenges during this crucial period of their lives.  MY PIECE OF THE CITY follows these young artists as they create the building blocks of the show, soar with their own artistry, and explore all that they have lost and gained as a new world builds around them.    

My Piece of the City , is showing as part of the 15th annual Regent Park Film Festival - which runs November 15 - 18, 2017 at Daniels Spectrum: 585 Dundas Street East (easily accessible by the 505 street car).... Reserve Your seat  HERE  ... It's a free event.

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Monday, October 30, 2017

Port Party on a Monday Night! ~ iYellow Wine Club

If you follow me on Instagram, you may already know that there is always a reason to celebrate, and relaxing is not optional! And what could make these two things even more fabulous? Well, a flute of bubbly or glass of wine of course. So imagine my delight when I discovered a local wine club that offers wine events, tours and classes.

One of my favorite Instagram accounts to follow is SuperWineGirl, and lovelies she is a local Torontonian!! Her Insta feed is filled with all things wine, and amazing food pairings, great tips and parties.  Angela Aiello is the gal behind SuperWineGirl, and if inspiring us with her adventures and wine photos wasn't filling our love for all things wine? I recently learned she is also the creator of iYellow Wine Club, 
"The coolest place to learn about wine. The Best Wine Classes in the City." ~ Toronto Life Magazine

As a Portuguese born gal - whose favourite port wine is Taylor Fladgate, there was little arm twisting needed to get me out a Monday night to attend the Taylor Fladgate 325 year Port Party - hosted by iYellow Wine Club at Spoke Club, with a gal pal, last week; and let me tell you it was an amazing 
experience - in my friends words "best wine party we have attended together in a long time!". From the friendly staff, to the entertainment, snacks and wine sampling it was all done with elegance and attention to detail. I had the opportunity to speak with Angela, and she is most lovely and friendly. I look forward to attending future iYellow events and taking a class or two to learn more about different wines. With the holidays just around the corner the class on Holidays favs is already on my possible activity list for November.

Here are some photos of the Taylor Fladgate Port Party I attended ... enjoy!

A beautiful vision!!! 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Life's Seasons ...

NOTE: I originally wrote this post as a guest post on Hopefilled-Living April 2, 2012 - Titled Life's April Showers.

As the cold and darkness of winter make way for the warmer, color filled days of spring it is the perfect time to be reminded that no matter the season we may find our lives in, it is only a matter of time before it too changes.

When we find our lives in what seems like and eternity of late Autumn and Winter, it is easy to forget all the wonderful Spring, Summer and early Autumns we were blessed with. And remember the days we find ourselves in - are temporary.They will pass, it is the unknown of exactly when they will end and brighter days begin, that add to the frustration of a situation, and the forgetfulness that they will change.

Sometimes the darkest and coldest days, are the ones that end up helping us to appreciate the good days, but more importantly learn to be more compassionate, loving and caring towards others. These are also the days that when they are replaced with Spring, will help us to stop and actually smell the flowers and try to live in the moment.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Toronto Island Park - Discovering Toronto

It's been a very long time since I've been to the island, so as Toronto remains under an extreme heat warning - 3 days into autumn, I thought WHY NOT! To get to the island you need to take either a water taxi, private boat or the ferry. With it being a week day and school back in session - it was a relatively short wait at the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal.

No island map ... just take a photo 

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Accepting Change - 5 Tips to help you get there

Change is inevitable, whether you realize it or not everything in life involves change. But, change is not always easy to transition through - even when we initiate change, the unknown of how the change will impact us can leave a very unsettling feeling. And when change in our life is not of our choosing, especially when it's unexpected can send us onto a roller coaster of emotions such as: shock, denial, guilt (you could have done, been more), blame (someone else caused this), and eventually you will think with a clarity you didn't think possible, and accept what has happened. Once you accept the change - you will be able to start moving towards creating a new life.

5 Tips to help you Accept Change:

1. FEEL the emotions and carry on: Too often we don't allow our emotions to be felt - we've all read and possibly shared phrases such as "put your big girl pants on" or "suck it up butter cup"or "build a bridge and get over it", you get the idea. By suppressing our emotions we are setting ourselves up to keep holding on to whatever has occurred. 

You will go through a series of emotions (fear, anger, joy, relief, grief,sadness etc.) - there is no "magic" order in which you will experience these emotions or if you experience one, a few or all; the length of time each will last; nor the repeat of these until you accept what has occurred (this is isn't to say even when you have reached the AH HA moment of acceptance that some of these emotions may not creep up from time to time). But having allowed yourself to experience them in the raw - will make it much easier to acknowledge should they creep up again, and not let them take over your life.

2. ASK yourself the question WHY - you are feeling so depleted by the change: is it that you are letting ego get in the way? is that losing a loved one - makes you realize your own immortality? after a break-up is that you are feeling lost, alone, betrayed, unsupported? When we are able to identify why we are feeling a certain way - it helps us to put the situation into perspective, which then enables us to put action steps in place to help us through the healing process.

3. Be THANKFUL for all the amazing people and things you have in your life. Take a look through your gratitude journal if you need a little reminder. Don't have a gratitude journal - perfect time to start one. Start writing down at least 3 things that happened in your day that you are grateful for - could be as basic as food to eat, a roof over your head, conversation with a dear friend or a stranger that smiled. Make a point each evening or morning to add to your gratitude journal.

4. LOOK for the silver lining, sometimes you may have to really look but, I promise you there is always one! Loss of job, could lead to a better career or opportunity to go back to school to study a subject you have always wanted; loss of a loved one, appreciate the family members you still have; the end of a relationship, frees you to explore other parts of you which you may have forgotten about or not realized existed.

5. BREATHE ... whatever the change, know that as long as you are breathing you have an opportunity to create an amazing life. It will be different - but know "The Best Is Yet To Come"!

Take care of you!

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Sunday, August 6, 2017

Light Cafe on Baldwin

Whether you are looking to satisfy your appetite, sweet tooth or looking for a hot/cold beverage Light Cafe is serving up a great selection of gourmet cafĂ© food and drinks with a contemporary twist. Super friendly and welcoming staff. A great up beat vibe, lots of natural light filters in from the floor to ceiling window ... and the live plant wall really is a wonderful touch of green - it's like being outside indoors.

The Lobster Bisque is scrumptious!!

I fell in love with this yummy treat! The strawberry mille feuille is a delectable melody of light flaky pastry, cream, fresh strawberries, a petite scoop of strawberry ice cream, and an infusion of strawberry puree. It really is a party for the senses!!

Feeling a little parched or looking for a place to enjoy a hot or cold beverage? Light Cafe has you covered with their extensive offering: espresso bar, slow drip hand brew coffee, infused loose leaf tea, au laits, and refreshing alternatives.
On a recent visit ... I took a little break from my writing day with leisure reading and a cup of Earl Grey Rose Au Lait!! ( lovelies if you enjoy an Au Lait, you must try this one, you will thank me!)

Light Cafe is located at : 23 Baldwin Street
Easily accessible via the St. Patrick TTC Station or the 505 Dundas street car McCaul stop.
See menu here or visit their website: LightCafe.ca
NOTE: this is a CASH only establishment

If you have experienced Light Cafe, would love for you to share your fav menu item in the comments. 

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Friday, August 4, 2017

Life Direction Recalculating No Warning ... 5 Tips to Adjust to "This"

When you are driving along, and the GPS begins to say "Recalculating" it's often because you have taken a different path than originally mapped or perhaps an unexpected event(s) occurred ahead - and the GPS is directing you towards a more efficient route to reach your destination. The Universe is like GPS for life ... if we are straying from where we are suppose to be, events will occur that will help steer us back. Unfortunately these events may not always happen in the form of a joyous occasion, most often they are gut wrenching, WTF kinda of events.

Our first reaction, may be to want to stay on the path we know, even if we sense it could be chaos, overwhelming or dangerous to are well being (emotional, mental and/or physical health). A long time ago I recall someone saying to me ... "when something happens to us, it is good to wait at least 48 hours - this way you will be acting on what has happened instead of reacting. After all what happened will not change, but how you see it and respond to it may". I recently found myself practicing this advice, and I have to say my initial response and how I view a recent life changing event has changed drastically from my initial ego and fear driven thoughts. 

I'm not going to sugar coat it lovelies, it is not easy choosing to take action vs reacting, and in all honesty when my heart was pulled out and stomped on like it never in my 50 years had been; not allowing ego and fear to take over was like trying to give a bath to a cat -who hates water!  The days, and weeks that followed became filled with more questions than answers. "This" became one of those moments where I realized nothing would ever be the same. I think actively practicing regular self care and love has given me the wisdom and sound foundation to examine "this" with a clarity that may not have otherwise existed; and I also knew that I was not going to let "this" destroy me

  5 Tips to Adjust to "This":

1. Take TIME: When we are feeling betrayed or hurt, it is instinct to reach out to people who care about us - but in the next few hours, days - try to allow yourself time to process what has become your "new reality". While well intended, our friends and loved ones will go into protective mode of us - and we can easily take on their thoughts on the situation. Give yourself time to figure out how YOU really are feeling about the situation.

2. TALK to someone: If you are needing to talk - reach out to a psychologist, or other professional who can remain objective and help you through the initial processing of what has occurred. I am a firm believer that we should all have a psychologist on retainer and on speed dial.

3. Be SELECTIVE: When we are hurting, our need to feel loved, protected and connected can leave us vulnerable to blurting out our personal life to anyone who will listen. Seriously, the sales lady does not need to know your business. Limit your discussion to a handful of friends/loved ones - this is what our besties (see below) are for. 

4. KNOW your besties: While our besties have our back ... in the days following the avalanche of your life - you will have days when you need the bestie, who will snap you into reality - no sugar coating tough love; other days you need the one who will hold your hand and draw on her experiences to help you process; and yet other days the one who just listens without interruption, judgement or I told you so. Of course they will all be ready with bubbly, a cup of tea, chocolate and ice cream - because you have the best BESTIES!!

5. Allow yourself time to GRIEVE: No matter what "this" was whether it was for the best or whether it really doesn't make sense, it's important to grieve the loss of what once was your life. Ensure you take off the rose coloured & bitter glasses, reflect on the good, the bad, the ugly, and the WTFs. But don't linger too long .... accept what has happened and start looking forward.

Bonus Tip: 

FORGIVENESS - what has happened cannot be changed, life will never be the same, you will never be the same, BUT ... when you forgive (be it yourself or another) you release the hold the past has on you ... and when this happens, the magic of new beginnings emerge ... and oh what a beautiful life you have ahead of you!! ( you just may not know it or be able to see it yet).

Lovelies remember, when the life we ordered has been discontinued - look at it as an opportunity to recalculate and set a new course for you and your life.

original image : Google Images

Take care of you,

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Being Social & Friendships in the Resilientista Years

The gals of Sex and the City are a great representation of the ease in which friendships are made in our 30s. The opportunities for social outings with other women seemed limitless and friendships were easily made. Why does that seem to change as we get into our late 40s and 50s? Is it age or is it something else?

I pondered this question recently, and thought about my own situation; at first glance it was easy to paint it as an age thing. But with further thought, I believe it's more of a life stage thing, and not being able to make friends after 50 really is a limiting believe. There is no friendship cut off age and as life changes (think geographic moves, divorce or loss of spouse/partner, illness, semi/retirement, empty nester etc.) or, current friends no longer offer the support and encouragement that makes a friendship, many people find themselves needing or wanting to make new friends.

Most notably when I found myself with unexpected free time on my hands and reached out to my gal friends for an impromptu gals nite. While everyone was excited about the idea and so wanted to attend - most already had other commitments for that evening. What I learned is that impromptu may not work the way it once did - as many have spouses, children, grandchildren; others are back in the dating scene or already filling their weekends way ahead of time (one friend in particular is booked every weekend past Labour Day!). 

Does this mean that social activities as your life stage changes is limited to mostly family or solo activities? ABSOLUTELY NOT! ~ one only has to click through Instagram to see women in their late 40s, 50s and beyond actively having amazing social lives with their gal (and even male) pals.

Here are 8 ideas to start cultivating new friendships:

1) Step outside your front door: this may seem like a given, but you will not meet new people unless you get out your front door.

2) Give Back : volunteering is a great way to help others, feel a sense of belonging to a community and meeting new people.

3) Make Friends with Yourself : take yourself out on dates, and outings, get to know what you enjoy (and equally important what you don't like) doing. When you are your own friend, you are exuding an air of happiness, confidence, and love; and that will be the friends you will attract.

4) Take a class: It doesn't matter what the class is - so long as it's something you enjoy. You will already have one thing in common with your classmates. So sign up for that pottery, yoga, sewing, spin etc. class.

5) Travel with a Tour Group: If you enjoy travelling but all your friends are busy or you have no one to travel with, don't let that enjoyment go. Travelling with a tour group, offers the feeling of traveling with someone as well as the opportunity to meet new people who may turn into a new friend.

6) Reconnect with Friends: Sometimes friends drift because of life circumstances. If there is a friend you really enjoyed doing things with reach out to them, who knows you may be able to pick up where you left off or may have an amazing new friendship. If it doesn't go beyond the initial contact - that's ok too!

7) Create a Social Routine: Especially if you work from home, are (semi/) retired, that gets you out of the house. Once or twice a week - have coffee at a particular cafe; go for a walk; or meet friends after after work.

8) Use Technology : Whether you find yourself in a new city or your life stage has changed  MeetUp.com  is a great way to meet new people with common interests.

Would love for you to share in the comments 
your experiences and ideas for making new friends in the Resilientista Years..

image credits: 1) Google Images 2)Diamond

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