4 Simple Ways to Help Bring Balance to Your Life

Photography: Weaver Cameron Barksdale

Photography: Weaver Cameron Barksdale

  1. Simplify your day. Make a conscious effort not to plan too many things, finish one task before you move on to the other, and be in the moment.

  2. Make Nutrition a Priority. Make sure to feed and nourish yourself with good foods for your particular body and its needs. The gut is the fuel for our entire engine and if that is not working properly neither can you.

  3. Sleep Well. Lower your lights and turn off your devices at a certain time every night. Find what works for you in terms of letting go. If there is a ritual you would like to add such as a hot bath, a soothing shower, or perhaps meditation for a sense of closure on your day it is important to do so.

  4. Notice Your Thoughts. The reality is that there will always be stressful situations, however it is within our control to be able to vary our response to such outside factors. We can either add intensity to them or in turn reduce there effects. Remember that the degree of stress is a perception and that everything is temporary.

These are paraphrased suggestions by Dr. Pratima Raichur with a few additional thoughts.

Sculptural Shadow Art

Tim Noble & Sue Webster are a London-based artist duo that create shadow art installations using carefully arranged objects. Using everything from trash to metal cans shot with BB pellets, they arrange these found objects in such a way as to cast shadows of people and skylines on the wall when a light is shined from a certain direction.

Photgraphy: Tim Noble & Sue Webster

PSA

For anyone out there who loves chocolate as much as I do, this is a brand to try.

These chocolates are one of the most delectable, purest, cleanest tasting bars I have ever had the pleasure of letting melt onto my tongue. They are locally made in Toronto and can be found in health food stores, some local convenient stores, and speciality shops. There are many varieties and flavours to choose from. I am personally a fan of the one above, the dark chocolate sea salt blend (blended with just the right amount of salt), and also the espresso bean crunch.

I promise you’ll be thanking me later. -tM

Photography: tM

Ordinary Life

Photography: Stanley Kurbrick | New York, 1948

Photography: Stanley Kurbrick | New York, 1948

Before Stanley Kubrick was a famous director, he was a youthful unknown observing the world around him through a photographic lens.

This particular photograph is a reminder that there have always been people young and old who have been bold enough to live life the way it suited them. -tM

Typography & Signage

I love signage, vintage, modern, retro; I find that it gives your brand a soul.

There is so much thought that should go into typography. It has to suit the architecture of the building, the design and pulse of the city or neighbourhood, it has to speak to what you are selling, its vibe, colour, and framing have to be just so. There is is nothing as off putting as bad signage. I have walked away from places because the typography of the signage was not inviting. Yes, I have judged a book by its signage, but when you have no recommendations to base your choice on, appearance strongly takes over, well at least in my case.

Beautiful signage, it’s an art that has as much soul as it does character. -tM

This is Style

Photography: STYLEMONDE | Julie Pelipas; Editor of Vogue Ukaraine

Photography: STYLEMONDE | Julie Pelipas; Editor of Vogue Ukaraine

I have never been one for exposing the midriff, nor have I ever been a fan of shorts, but this is an exception.

This is what happens when you have found your own style groove. I would have never thought of putting these garments together in such a way, but then again, it’s just not me. However if I did do midriff baring shirts and shorts, I would absolutely follow suit. -tM

How Do You Take Your Coffee?

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How do you take your coffee? Do you take it to go? Do you take it standing at an espresso bar? Or do you slip it slowly while reading the paper or catching up on emails?

Either way there is always a ritual or routine behind the pep in your step elixir and if it is not recognized perhaps due to the rushed dash, we feel like our day and mood has been thrown.

I personally could never drink my coffee on the go. I take my coffee nice and slow, strong in flavour but leisurely in its consumption. And even though I managed to replace it with green tea for short a period of time in my life, there is nothing like the aroma and therapy that a good cup of coffee provides. -tM

Fashionable Layers

Photography: Anders Enstrom

Photography: Anders Enstrom

Do you layer? And if so, how?

I have never been a fan of layering. It has always felt cumbersome, awkward, and uncomfortable, so much so that a crisp white shirt under a blazer drives me crazy because it never sits right with movement as the blazer tugs at this end or at that. The most I can do is a t-shirt under a sweater. Tights under pants, bleh, my waist feels suffocated. This is why I don’t wear skirts in the winter, the extra band around the waist leaves me feeling strangled at the midriff.

It has always just felt so heavy to me. Layering has always hindered my freedom of movement. Coats, hats, and scarves aside, it has never felt natural to me.

Perhaps I am not doing it right. I don’t know. Any tips? -tM

Tight Squeeze

Album Cover: Yeah Yeah Yeah’s

Album Cover: Yeah Yeah Yeah’s

What article of clothing are you willing to wear like a second skin if any?

Like everything in life, it is all about balance isn’t it? If you wear one article that is tight, then then other must be a little forgiving, at least that’s how it goes in my mathematical fashion equation.

Leather pants, or denim are my tight squeeze preference, much to my mothers disappointment, as she believes that I am getting to old for such fashion exploits.

I understand her perspective but I think that everything can be made to work with the right amount of give and take when it comes to the tightness of squeeze.

Where do you draw that line? And does the age factor play into those decisions? -tM

Beauty Refresh

I was drawn to these photo’s because they reveal a face not so hidden by layers of make-up and Photoshop magic. I appreciate the lines and graceful bags under her eyes, the shadows of light and dark.

I think North America is in dire need of a beauty refresh. I don’t know how we got here, but we did, and it is a sad as well as ugly reality. Somehow in this process of liberating ourselves as women we have also allowed ourselves to be confined and even chained to this youthful, perfect face.

There is nothing wrong with looking like you have lived. I find the living face an incredibly beautiful and graceful face.

Perfectionism is a myth, an excuse for being insecure. It’s time to go inward for many reasons, great things always begin from the inside. -tM

Photography: Porter Magazine

The Season of Divide

My body always has such a hard time adjusting to the up’s and down’s of our North American Spring. I love the glory of the new found light, the contrast of the sky against the still very barren landscape, and the feeling and freedom of peeling back the layers.

However, I grapple with the violent temperature swings, the unpredictability of precipitation, as well as the physical exhaustion my body goes through in adjustment to the changes in time, pace of lifestyle, and even digestion and diet transitions. I have always been sensitive to seasonal transitions, but the Winter to Spring adjustment has always been the most difficult for me.

How about you? What changes or adjustments do you go through when it comes to these kinds of cyclical metamorphosis’s? -tM

Photography: tM

Hair Highway

STUDIO SWINE - HAIR HIGHWAY

Hair Highway is a contemporary take on the ancient Silk Road. As the world’s population continues to increase, human hair has been re-imagined as an abundant and renewable material, with China being the biggest exporter of human hair.

By combining hair with a natural resin, Studio Swine has created a composite material that provides a sustainable alternative to the planet’s diminishing natural resources with an aesthetic that evokes the palettes of tortoiseshell and a grain resembling that of polished horn or exotic hardwoods. The result is a unique collection of exquisite objects inspired by the 1930’s Shanghai-deco style.

The film documents the hair trade and industry in the Shandong province of China. Following the journey of the material from the people who sell their hair through to the hair merchants, markets and factories. To finally end up in a collection of highly decorative objects created by Studio Swine.

Notes of Correspondence

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I just recently revisited some letters penned to me that I had saved from the early 2000’s. They were beautiful in there sentiment, thoughtful in their presentation, and honest in there attempt to form a connection that extended beyond the telephone conversation, or email.

They are, (and don’t ask me why I didn’t realize it then) love letters of the most profound kind. Vulnerable, prosaic, philosophical, and at times even poetic. Photo’s were sent, instead of scanned, the details and efforts were obvious even in the choice of paper selected. Having re-read these letters over 18 years later, I know him better now then I knew him then. I had forgotten what an important time that was in my life, and never truly understood how much that connection meant to me.

I have never forgotten him, and to this day, even though we have no direct contact, I have followed his career from afar.

It’s nice to be reminded that I too had been involved with some quite intelligent, passionate, and sensitive, men in my life.

When was the last time you found yourself immersed in love letters past or present? -tM

Sunday Ease

Cinematography: Sayombhu Mukdeeprom |  Call Me By Your Name

Cinematography: Sayombhu Mukdeeprom | Call Me By Your Name

Even though we have become a secular society where Sunday’s are no longer “God’s” day of rest, where businesses are forced to remain closed and family time is a requirement (boy do I remember how boring a Sunday could be as a child, quoting Morrissey as an appropriate reference “Everyday is like Sunday, everyday is silent and grey” because that is exactly how it felt, dull, grey, and boring; lazing around all day trying to amuse oneself with play and fascination). Anyway, I digress…

As an adult, I find that I still hold onto those lazy Sunday’s as a way of life, a space for letting go, and connecting to what matters and to those I love. I consciously take it slow on a Sunday. It’s become a way of life. It is a day that I reserve solely for myself and for things that matter to me. It is my day of rest.

How about you, how do you spend your Sunday? -tM