This is one of those weekends that makes me thankful to live in Toronto. It’s Pride weekend and the festivities are well under way. Church street is closed off. There are people everywhere, music blasting out of every store front and a general sense of giddiness and camaraderie. I love Pride. Even though it seems like a big party it’s important to remember that it wasn’t very long ago when Pride was an underground movement that began as a response to the brutal bathhouse raids that took place in the Church and Wellesley area. We still have to work hard to challenge old fashioned notions of sexuality and identity and that’s why Pride is so important.
Bubble bars are by far my favourite product category at Lush. They are basically bubble bath in solid form. I love this because it makes them easy to transport plus you can always pick them up and take a whiff of one without having to deal with any mess. They are super easy to use. Just hold one under running water and the next thing you know you’ll have a bath full of bubbles. Also, a lot of the bars make so many bubbles that you can split them into two and save half for another bath. Here are my faves:
1. Ma Bar
This bubble bar was originally introduced as a Mother’s Day gift but was so popular it became one of their regular bars. It smells like chocolate covered toffee. Enough said.
2. Blue Skies & Fluffy White Clouds
The name is a pretty good description of how you’ll feel when you use this bar. This bar has a relaxing scent and will turn your bathwater a deep ocean blue. The best part is that it can be split into thirds because it’s so large.
This bar may be blue but it is scented with orange oil to help lift your mood and put a smile on your face.
This white bubble bar has a rose and lemon scent that will make you feel happy and relaxed. I love watching the little rosebud float around in the water too!
This may seem like an awfully short list for my favourite Lush product category but I have to admit that I am a picky person. Also, some of my favourite bubble bars are seasonal products such as the Gingerbread bubble bar that came out last Christmas. If you are a fan of bubble bars I highly suggest you keep your eyes open for the Lush seasonal products and stock up. In the meantime, happy bathing!
Have you ever had an experience that left you hurt and confused and yet over time helped you to learn a lot about yourself and relationships? I’ve had several of those experiences. They make me want to stand on a street corner and preach about what I’ve learned in the hopes that others can avoid making the same mistakes I did. Of course I know that most people learn from personal experience as well but still, I can’t help but put this bit of information out there. So here’s some advice you didn’t ask for.
Actions speak louder than words. This is a simple lesson that can be hard to learn, usually because we want to believe the best in people. But trust me when I say that in pretty much every relationship, actions speak louder than words. I learned this in my last relationship when I dated a guy who told me that he was crazy about me, that he thought about me all the time and that he was happiest when he was with me and yet he could never make any time for me. At first I wanted to believe what he said. He could often be kind and caring when we actually spent time together but it was overshadowed by the fact that he seemed to forget about my existence when we weren’t together. I tried desperately to reconcile my expectations with reality but the truth is that I was with a guy who told me that he couldn’t stop thinking about me and yet apparently didn’t think about me enough to pick up his phone and call me.
Over time his actions spoke loud and clear. He never called me and he rarely returned my phone calls. In fact it took ages for me to get him to see me in person just so that I could break up with him. Yes, that’s right, I had to break up with him even though he was the one who had clearly lost interest.
So ladies, learn from my mistakes. If you are with a guy (or girl) who says that he (she) can’t get enough of you and yet never actually makes time for you, end it! Tell that person exactly what’s up and let him or her know that you want to be with someone who actually enjoys spending time with you and doesn’t just say it.
Recently I went to the beach. Before going I told the friend I was travelling with about my trepidation to wear a bathing suit to the beach. The water isn’t really suitable for bathing in so most people just lay out on a towel. I figured I would be fine in a short dress. However, she encouraged me to put on a bathing suit and forget about what other people think. She reminded me that when she’s travelled to other parts of the world, people have no problem showing skin whether they are young, old, fat or skinny.
Her comment reminded me of an older woman I used to see in the locker room at my gym. This woman looked to be around 70 years old or so. Everyday she would emerge from the shower with a towel tied only around her waist. She sat on a chair and would blow dry her hair while topless. It made me giggle a little but at the same time I thought it was funny to see her juxtaposed with the younger woman in the locker room. Here was an older woman who had no problem letting it all hang out while the younger women with fit toned bodies carefully manoeuvred in an effort to ensure that no one saw an inch of their bodies.
It made me think that there is a kind of confidence that only comes with age. It reminded me of how I now wish I could go back in time and tell my younger self that I was not fat and that I should not feel ashamed of my body. I will never know what caused me to think of myself that way. Perhaps it was the cruelty of classmates who called me fat (unfortunately I believed them). Maybe it was reading Seventeen magazine and seeing stick thin girls held up as the ideal body type. Either way, I’m still struggling with acceptance especially because I am now larger than I have ever been. But I know my body and I love it for what it is.
A friend of mine visited recently and I did my best to show her the best of Toronto but sadly I only scratched the surface. While compiling a list of places to take my friend I realized that there are so many things I love about this city.
I love living in a city with a huge public library system. I love living in a city where driving is more often a hindrance than a necessity. I love that Toronto has so many patios so that we can eat and drink while enjoying the fresh air and people watching. I love that I can go to Fran’s at 3am and have the big breakfast after a night of clubbing. I love that I can walk to the Riverdale Farm and suddenly feel like I am no longer in a big city. The same goes for heading to the beach and sitting on the sand while watching the waves. I love that the city is a cultural hub that offers numerous museums, art galleries, dance companies and so on. I love that there is a neverending cycle of festivals, especially in the summer, including but not limited to NXNE, Luminato, Fringe Festival, Pride, Caribana, Taste of Little Italy and the Canadian National Exhibition. I love that I have my pick of farmer’s markets where I can buy fresh local produce. I love that so often the city pulls together to do what’s best. Toronto may not be perfect but it’s my city. And as I have said many times now, I love it.
Have you started watching Girls yet? I first heard about this show several months back when I saw a preview for it on my favourite entertainment website. I found the trailer incredibly entertaining and my first thought was, “I can’t wait to start watching that show.” And then the show premiered! And the premiere was awful. Well, not awful but it certainly wasn’t what I had expected. However, something made me tune in again the following week. And the week after that. And before I knew it I was hooked on a show that is actually very funny, witty and insightful. In fact, I’ve become a little bit obsessed with the show and am even considering writing several posts about it. After all, this show has hit a lot of nerves with me, including but not limited to the subjects of: really bad sex, unemployment as a twentysomething, flaky friends, and finally that friend who should break up with her boyfriend but keeps avoiding it because she’s somehow more comfortable staying in an unfulfilling relationship than being alone. As you can see, I am really into this show! I highly suggest you check it out on Sunday evenings on HBO.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a Lush fanatic. I first discovered Lush when I was 16 and exploring downtown Vancouver while on a family trip. As soon as I entered the Lush store I was hit with what seemed like a million different scents and I found myself completely fascinated by numerous products whose uses weren’t readily apparent. Over the years I became more and more of a Lush addict to the point that I even worked at a local Lush store during one incredible holiday season.
Since most of my friends know me as a bit of a Lush expert I have decided to share my knowledge with you! Okay, it’s not really knowledge so much as a list of my favourite products. For the most part my favourites are based on scent but some of them are also based on function. I’ve decided to start my list with the category that Lush is best known for: bath bombs! Let’s get started.
1. Honey Bee
This is a honey and toffee scented bath bomb that is oh so sweet and makes me wish I could stay in the bath forever!
2. Big Blue
I find Big Blue to be a refreshing and yet calming bath bomb. Its deep blue colour makes me feel like I’m floating in the middle of the ocean.
This is a very unique bath bomb in that it not only has a lovely vanilla scent (perfect for when you want a relaxing bath before bedtime) but it also has little bits of cocoa butter in it to help moisturize your skin.
4. Mrs. Whippy
This is probably the most unique bath bomb I’ve ever seen. Unlike other bath bombs, Mrs. Whippy whirls around in the bathtub as it slowly dissolves. This is another bath bomb that is meant to help moisturize dry skin.
I will admit that this is a bath bomb I don’t purchase often but when I do the scent immediately makes me think of spring when everything is starting to bloom.
So there you have it! This was just the first post in a series of my guide to the best that Lush has to offer.