For the Dog Lover: Dog Love by Ann Devito

May 29, 2017

As this book entails, this book is all about dogs. Big ones, small ones, fast ones, slow ones, rare and popular, and everything in between. Like most dogs, it was short and sweet. Dog Love featured tons of cute illustrations of your most beloved pooches and random factoids about each type. Did you know...

That Great Danes think they're lap dogs (and act like it too)?
I bet you didn't.
How about that there is no such thing as a black Boxer?
Me neither.

Whether you like facts or not, there's no denying that this book is undeniably cute, and after reading it out loud to my family, I think that it might actually be useful. Here's a few things that Dog Love is great for:

  • Swaying people who are usually reluctant into wanting a dog
  • Making people who want a dog, want one even more
  • Learning more about the painters and artists who were very dedicated to sharing their love for their own pets
  • Decorating your coffee table
  • Making friends with other potential dog lovers
  • Producing a smile and maybe a giggle or two, but most definitely a few "awwwwwwwwwww"s
Fave Dog: Irish Setter

    Hard Times Require Furious Dancing ft. #RunTheFlex

    May 22, 2017

    I've grown up on a steady diet of Fred Astaire films, old black and white musicals and Step Up movies. My childhood bestie and I used to spend our time coming up with dance routines to show her family, and I distinctly remember doing what can only be described as "contemporary"-inspired number to Brandy's "Sittin' Up in my Room" for my parents when I was 7. Funnily enough, the gap between when I last took classes and when I started taking them again in 2017, spans a decade. But the last half was spent either sitting around wishing I could dance or binge watching dance videos on YouTube the way some people binge watch Netflix shows. And I had planned on keeping this up until this past election.

    Other than it reminding us how far we have to go in terms of civil, environmental and reproductive rights; I learned that now more than ever isn't the time to hold back on the things that make you happy or that you find intriguing. And just as everything seemed to be going off-kilter, I saw this picture of a little girl passionately dancing in the streets with the title of Alice Walker's book, Hard Times Require Furious Dancing on top of it. So I thought to myself, let's do this.

    I got to practicing and found out that I was incredibly rusty (I think "floppy" is how my sister described me at one point). So, after working out the kinks by learning a few routines off of YouTube (isn't the internet amazing!), I finally signed up for class. It's been only 3 months, but it's been a great 3 months, full of looking "floppy" and being afraid to dance in front of a mirror (let alone other people), but eventually really enjoying it and making friends. Who knows where it will lead, but as I see improvement I can't help but feel like that little girl in the picture, and I can feel my own inner 7-year-old (the one who subjected my parents to that ridiculous routine to Brandy's song) is smiling once again.

    P.S. I got to take part in #RunTheFlex where a couple of other people and I took part in a super fun 6-week workshop run by Aaron and got featured in this dance video below! Check it out!

    An Ode to Mama Earth

    May 15, 2017

    There's a reason we refer to the Earth as Mother Earth. It's our home, our birthplace which takes care of us constantly without us ever really acknowledging it as much as we should. It's this mistake which has led to people denying climate change and humanity's role in its cause, even when it's so clear that it is. So, we've treated her like a doormat, just a rug to wipe our feet on before crossing the threshold. But what about after all that wiping? The rug gets dirty and sometimes if it's left for too long without a good cleanse it gets stained. Unfortunately, you can't buy a new planet, yet we're willing to continue wiping and dumping our dirt on the Earth and on people, without thinking about the true future cost of our actions. While, I'm not here to lecture - I still have a long way to go myself in terms of helping the environment - I am here to share. To share the complex beauty that even the simplest of Earth's creations, hidden in unexpected places across a city, can create and that can remind us all to tread a bit more carefully.

    "The Earth is what we all have in common." - Wendell Berry 

    noun (n.)
    Someone with deep sensitivity to the beauty of art and nature

    "You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make." -Jane Goodall

    noun (n.)
    the warmth of sun in winter

    "There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature - the assurance that dawn comes after night. and spring after winter." - Rachel Carson

    noun. (n.)
    the smell of the earth after it rains 

    "The Earth has music for those who listen." - Shakespeare

    Grabbing a Bite at Kekou Gelato

    May 08, 2017

    There's a special place in my heart for ice cream parlors. It's right next to ice skating, and right above carnivals. My childhood is full of trips to our local (and sometimes not so local) Dairy Queen with my bestie, where I would get my all time favourite treat, the Oreo Blizzard. My heart also has a spot reserved for piggy banks, and impatiently waiting for the neighbourhood ice cream man to roll up after school. You don't know how many shirts I've temporarily stained as I lost the race against my rapidly melting treat.

    Then boom! I develop a sensitivity to lactose, and an ice cream scoop sized whole in my heart. But there is a saving grace. Sorbet. Oh, but I hate store-bought sorbet, with all its fluorescent pinks and oranges. To me, it tastes as strange as it looks, and sadly I was left without an alternative to ice cream. So, I admit that when my dad pointed this spot out, I was a bit reluctant to go inside. I wasn't ready to reopen that old wound just yet. But boy am I glad I did. Not only does Kekou Gelato have super nice walls, but it has very exotic-sounding flavors of sorbet! Who knew "Spicy Salted Pineapple" would actually be so refreshing? But don't just take my word for it, check it out for yourself (or at least check out the photos below)!