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August 11th, 2017

Post #17: 19 years of age

It’s already been a year. One year ago today, I started this blog and began my steady journey into womanhood.

In all this time, I managed to start and finish a year of university; subsequently completing all of my certificate requirements. My classes, as well as various volunteering opportunities, have allowed me to meet some amazing people. More than anything, they reminded me of the significance of doing what you love. I have also continued to bond, and made new connections with my coworkers, who constantly remind me that one should never completely grow up.

Above all, as I have begun to take steps in the adult world, making my own decisions, plans, and standing my own ground, I have come to truly appreciate how important it is to take time out of your busy schedule to talk and spend time with the ones you love.

To reflect on what I said in last year’s post, I will continue to remember to try and find the beauty in the little things, and the joy in everyday. Like finding happiness in taking a trip to the farmers market, eating Vietnamese food, and of course cake, on my 19th birthday for example.

I know that the next year has even more surprises in store for me than the last. I can’t wait to see what’s around every corner as I grow and develop myself as a person, go on realizing who I am, and what it means to be me.

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Music Monday: April ’18

On the one year anniversary of sharing my first public playlist (Relations), I started my next series of weekly Instagram posts. Throughout “Music Monday”, every month I will feature a unique artist, sharing different songs and lyrics each Monday of their month. At the end of each month, I shall write a quick review of the artist and the songs I have featured.

Erik Hassle

April’s featured artist is Swedish singer/songwriter Erik Hassle, whose sound fits perfectly into that of which was collected in my first playlist. Hassle combines Soul, R&B, Pop, and elements of many other music styles to create powerful tracks that explore the timeless topics of love, sex, and heartbreak. His falsetto vocals and emotive voice deliver eloquent mournful and/or passionate lyrics.

 

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April 9th, 2018

“Once I was shattered, once you were broken, we’re coming together…”

-“FTPA” (feat. Gorgon City)

Brooding and explicit, “FTPA” is a smooth, jazzy, R&B track that showcases Erik gently pleading with his lover. Co-written with Gorgon City, musical talents come together flawlessly in this song to create something undeniably sexy. Between Erik’s low and gentle voice and the trumpet solo at the songs end, it’s impossible to determine a favourite element of the track.

 

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April 16th, 2018

“Dreaming of you, or the person I made you up to be…”

-“Silver & Gold”

“Silver & Gold”, combines an upbeat rhythm and bounce with seductive, airy vocals. The lyrics delivered on the track are some of the best off of Erik’s Innocence Lost album. My words can not give it justice. Listening to this track is essential.

 

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April 23rd, 2018

“No matter how dark it gets, I wanna go deeper still…”

-“Natural Born Lovers”

“Natural Born Lovers”, a single from 2015, showcases “free love and a simple celebration of life” according to Hassle himself.  The soulful pop track is passionate, energetic, and full of swinging synths. The single comes complete with a steamy video in which, against a backdrop of neon lights, we watch as couples of various races and sexual orientations share intimate moments in motel rooms, while Erik dances at a gas station.

 

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April 30th, 2018

“All these smiling faces don’t know how to shut up.”

-“Ready for You”

Charged with angst and heartache, Erik’s utilizes echo in “Ready for You” to create a feeling of anguish that is almost palpable. Atmospheric sounds joined with heavy bass, and a constant underlying beat, drive the song through valleys and peaks of emotion.


Previously mentioned:

Tuesday Tunes #3: “Talk About It” by Erik Hassle

January 1st, 2018

Post #20: Journey around the sun

Another trip around the sun; what a whirlwind it has been. In hindsight, it seems like it was simultaneously longer and shorter than a year. I have spent this past year learning so much, and meeting so many people. I watched incredible artists make music, worked and volunteered along side wonderful individuals, and studied at 3 different universities; earning two certificates and completing my first online semester. I created art in many forms, researched for hours on end, wrote more than I have in a while, ate good food, and made good food. I voted for the first time in a municipal election, and am gradually growing into other adult responsibilities like constantly doing the dishes. I can’t wait to see what this next journey around the sun has to offer. I know that this year has even more craziness in store for me than the last.

Here’s to 2018! Let you offer us all love and laughter.

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Recipe: Shortbread Cookies

Today was Foodie Friday number 29! It has been a few months since I posted a recipe, so I thought I would make sure that the last recipe of the year was special. I have been working at the same place for the last three years, and tomorrow is my last day. This week’s recipe was adapted from a cookbook I bought from work, and is an absolute classic around the holidays.

This Shortbread is deliciously buttery, while keeping the traditional flavour. With the wonderful melt in your mouth texture, comes the possibility of broken cookies. Trust me, they are worth it, and the pieces taste just the same. For a little extra goodness, baked cookies may be carefully dipped in melted chocolate.

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December 21st, 2017

Post #19: The Summer of ’17 – Part 2/2

As the year begins to come to a close, I continue to reminisce on previous months. Summer continued into August, and the first Sunday of the month found me at a folk music festival. This turned out to be another highlight of my summer. Standing underneath the branches of a tree near the back of the crowd, (ironically next to my elementary school music teacher’s family) I munched on delicious food truck grub, while listening intently to number of artists including, Oscar Lopez. Though he may not be too familiar to a lot of you, back in the second grade I absolutely loved him. Getting to hear him play my favourite song of his live was a small dream come true.

The following Friday was my 19th birthday, and the Saturday was my birthday party. By Uber or taxi cab, a few of my friends and I made our way downtown to a Prohibition era style speakeasy. There, we found ourselves sitting on velvet furniture, listening to jazz music, and drinking. The place was relaxed, beautiful, underground, and while we were there we were temporarily transported to another world. Once we emerged, we went for food down the street at a burger restaurant, where unexpectedly the entire staff, along with the customers, sang me the birthday song. A memorable night to say the least.

The rest of the month was split between work and visiting other family or getting dinner/coffee with friends. My Aunt came to visit from across the country, and brought with her my baby cousin. Seeing her for the first time was heartwarming. She was so innocent and so determined to stand up on her own. She only had smiles for all of us.

Two days later, my best friend’s family came over in the evening to share conversation, dessert, and a board game. Getting together with them the few times a year we do, is something I wish we could do more often. Family is not always determined by blood, and to me they are more family than friends.

Before I could stop to think about it, August turned to September, and as I worked through the beginning weeks, I also returned to school. The summer was over but my adventures continued.

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October 27th, 2017

Post #18: The Summer of ’17 – Part 1/2

Autumn is now in full swing. October is almost over, and the trees that once dazzled in golden colours, have lost most of their leaves. Cold winds blow, clouds hang low, the sunsets are glorious, and everything is beautiful. This time of year always has a way of making me nostalgic. There have been a lot of changes in my life recently, and I know that more are coming. Until those changes come, I choose to reflect on my summer and reminisce, not about every detail, but only some of the best moments.

June was a month that mostly consisted of going to work. Other than going to a night market with a friend I hadn’t seen in months, and volunteering at one of my city’s annual summer festivals (where my team and I were serenaded by a quartet), I spent my days at work. My days spent at work were not boring, I made so made memories that I could fill another post with them, and I intend to.

Over the course of July, I actually chose to go out and have fun. At first, I invited a friend that had been away for University the whole year, out on a downtown shopping adventure. What started out as a simple trip to the mall, turned into a walk through the park, and the discovery of a “hole in the wall” ice cream shop.

The following week, I convinced a friend to go to a drop in dance class with me after work. She brought one of her best friends, and we all went to an hour long heels dance class. There, we learned a short routine to “Slow Hands” and had a fabulous time with a teacher who reminded us of the importance of body confidence, getting out of the comfort zone, embracing yourself, and just going for it. Goodness did my legs hurt after.

The next day, I went to a “bar” with my best friend and caught up on the patio over drinks and pub food, good food. Hours after eating, we found ourselves sitting in a playground laughing about everything we spoke about.

By the end of the week, I was with family, wandering through another night market, appreciating local artists and businesses. From there, we walked to my city’s largest annual event. It had been 5 years since I had been a part of the swarms of people in cowboy hats eating crazy fair food (like ice cream sandwiches made with rice krispie squares), watching concerts (like Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals), marvelling at fireworks, and admiring local artwork. Happily, I can say it was one of my favourite nights of the summer. That being said, the summer wasn’t over yet.

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