The GTA’s 3 Healthy (and Vegan) Gems

Ironically, I’m not even a vegan as I write this, but I do have a strong appreciation to taking every possible dietary restriction and making the best out of it. These three businesses have done just that – acknowledging every single “No, I can’t eat that” and making sure you can indeed eat it and indulge.

Every meal, snack, and coffee:

Sorelle & Co.

img_6596

A local treasure, the cafe stands on Rutherford Road, just between Bathurst St and Dufferin St in Vaughan. With an extensive menu of anything you can think of, Sorelle & Co. also offers its guests an elegant interior that is unbelievably perfect for pictures beautiful enough to hang on your wall. Additionally, they’ve got a stand inside the Saks 5th Avenue on Queen St, and rumour has it another location will be popping up in the future.

Top Picks: Mean Green Smoothie & Carrot Cupcake

Dessert:

NanaShake

img_5111

This. Place. Rocks! I wish I lived a little bit closer so I could go there more often and indulge in their completely guilt-free 100% vegan soft serve. With a great selection of flavours, toppings, and even styles (popsicles!), it’s guaranteed that this will be the tastiest, healthiest, dessert you’ll ever try. Most importantly, they have an affogato version: that’s right, espresso trickled on top of their delectable soft serve. Located in the upper end of the city, just moments walk from Sheppard Station, and with ample parking nearby, it’s a dessert parlour that is easy to access for anyone.

Top Pick: Rosey Pistachio Soft Serve

On The Go:

The PUR Company

img_2365

This Toronto-born brand is taking the world by storm, and giving everybody the gum and mints health-enthusiasts have always dreamed of: aspartame-free, vegan, sugar-free, and packed with natural flavours. Let’s be real, between all those meals and desserts (especially the affogato NanaShake), it’s necessary to freshen up. These PUR bad boys can be found in numerous locations across the GTA, including Whole Foods, Winners, and Sorelle & Co.

Top Picks: Mojito-Lime Mints, Spearmint Gum

 

Though the GTA (especially the downtown core) has many vegan and plant-based offerings, these are the three that I found most accessible to someone living in the Richmond Hill/Vaughan area. From snacks to dessert to just something to chew on between meals, Sorelle & Co., NanaShake, and PUR have you covered.

Embracing Getting Burnt Out

Disclaimer: In theory, I should be posting on my blog about fall/winter 2017 Canadian fashion right now, but to be honest, it would not be genuine (at this moment). 


Over the past couple of weeks, I had to come to terms with the reality that I was not balancing everything on my plate as well as I should have been. My grades were getting significantly lower than last semester, the bags under my eyes significantly darker, and I found myself breaking into tears every so often worrying about how I was going to get everything on my list accomplished through the next day, the next week, and the next month. Whenever I’d head out of the house without makeup on, people would ask what was wrong, and if I was getting sick or something. I even lost the will and inspiration to write on my blog, which usually was a 20-minute escape from the hustle and bustle. Continue reading “Embracing Getting Burnt Out”

The #GirlBoss Survival Kit

The #GirlBoss movement, created by Sophia Amoruso, is one that not only empowered women around the world to unleash their entrepreneurial spirit, but glorified being a female entrepreneur and go-getter.  Though I never read her book, nor supported Amoruso’s Nasty Gal brand (for reasons to be brought up at a later date), I have to give her credit for creating the Girl Boss empire and inspiring so many women around the world.

So at what point can one consider herself a “Girl Boss”? I think the whole dynamic of being a woman changed when we stopped living to cook and clean for our families, and started becoming educated, having careers, and creating something for ourselves.  Continue reading “The #GirlBoss Survival Kit”

A Beginner’s Journey to NYFW

A little over a week ago, on my birthday no less, I woke up to an email containing an invitation to the Francesca Liberatone runway show at New York Fashion Week (NYFW). Attending NYFW is not something I dreamed of since I was a little girl, but definitely since I started my blog in August 2015. To say I was ecstatic is an understatement, but I did realize it entailed quite a bit of commitment. The next few days I got more and more invitations flooding my inbox, but unfortunately due to my university and work commitments, I had to miss out on majority of the shows I was invited to. That didn’t stop me from making it out for the weekend to NY. Continue reading “A Beginner’s Journey to NYFW”

24 Things I Learned By 24

Birthdays have played tricky games with me over the past 6-7 years. Sometimes I had unrealistically high expectations (Prince Charming knocking on my door at the knick of midnight), and other times my lack of self-confidence had me down. Some years were fantastic where I was surrounded by loved ones, and felt nothing but like a queen all of February 3rd. All in all, my birthday was just another day, and the only thing that changed was the number representing my age. This year, however, I self-reflected, and realized a lot has changed. Here are the 24 things I learned by now:

  1. Smile at least once a day. Even if you have to force it by watching an episode of Friends.
  2. Success does not have one definition. It is ever-changing, and it is different to every individual.
  3. Always apologize to your mother after an argument. Even if you’re right.
  4. Have hobbies.
  5. Admit your mistakes. Not necessarily to other people, but definitely to yourself.
  6. Give yourself the chance to be lazy. Sometimes. Not everyday.
  7. An education may cost you $35,000. If you make the best of it, it becomes priceless.
  8. Don’t let the small stuff get to you.
  9. Cancel out your negatives with three positives. They exist, I promise.
  10. Never dishonour your values.
  11. A couple amazing friends is better than a lot of acquaintances.
  12. Family always comes first.
  13. Forgive your family, even if they don’t apologize.
  14. Out of sight, out of mind. Don’t let the things that bother you or hurt you stay in your line of sight.
  15. Invest in your bags and shoes. These are pieces that will carry you as well as carry your tangible valuables.
  16. There is no finish line for success. Life is a journey full of big and small victories along the way.
  17. It’s fine if life doesn’t take you on the journey you expected at age 16, at age 18, or at age 21. Changes usually happen for the better.
  18. It’s ok to cry. It’s not ok to cry everyday. If you’re crying everyday, figure out how to replace those tears with smiles.
  19. When something bad or undesirable happens, compare it to the grand scheme of things. Not so bad anymore, right?
  20. If it can be fixed with money, it’s not that big of a problem.
  21. It’s more sustainable to own one fantastic shirt for $200 than 10 bad quality shirts for $20 a piece.
  22. Never stop learning. Beauty will fade, but intellectual beauty won’t.
  23. If you’re stuck in a job you hate, don’t quit until you have another option. You need money to survive, but make sure the rest of your lifestyle is awesome.
  24. Getting older isn’t so scary. It’s simply the evidence of growth.

 

Whether you are 16, 24, 40, or in your 60s, I hope these are life lessons that you can ponder on and potentially learn from as well. As they say, you can learn something from anyone, and who’s to say you can’t learn from little ol’ 24-year-old me?

“I Love You Just The Way You Are” – Sweet or Wrong?

Though this was not the post I had initially intended to begin 2017’s archives with, when the idea came to me (after conversation with my boyfriend, obviously), I felt it was appropriate with the influx of go-getters and goal-setters during resolution month aka January.

Do not tell each other “I love you just the way you are“. Maybe in the short term you are making each other feel good, feel loved, and generally giving each other a dose of dopamine, but in the long run, you are doing nothing but damage. Continue reading ““I Love You Just The Way You Are” – Sweet or Wrong?”

5 Holiday Date Ideas

There’s something about the Christmas and holiday season that is super romantic. Whether you want to or not, you get sucked into this world of watching people pick out the perfect gift for their loved ones (especially if you work retail), groups getting together to celebrate at parties and dinners, and couples perusing on the absolute cutest dates imaginable that either aren’t as magical the other eleven months of the year, or even possible to begin with. Continue reading “5 Holiday Date Ideas”

Resolutions: Wrapping Them Up In One Little Book

It seems like December is the time that we not only spend  all our money on presents and turkey dinners, but we always begin to reflect on the past year and what we have or haven’t accomplished. For the past five years or so, I would write my resolutions in the Notes section of my smartphone, and closer to December 31st, review that list and check off what I’ve achieved. It was always the same old song and dance: lose weight, get good marks in school, keep my room clean, don’t piss off my mother. Continue reading “Resolutions: Wrapping Them Up In One Little Book”