monday morning.

Not to sound too much like an orange cartoon cat, but I hate Mondays. I have a great distaste for them that is only growing as I age. And Monday morning in particular, can suck it. I’m already pretty notorious for only giving myself exactly enough time to get ready in the morning and not one minute longer, so after a weekend of staying up late and sleeping in later, Monday mornings are damn near impossible. My alarm goes off way too early, the sun shines in through my windows and makes it impossible to capture those last few minutes of sleep while I hit snooze, and I do not feel like I want to get up and face the day. But I’m an adult with a job, so I do anyway. I have to.

I’m the first one to arrive at my office, and I’m alone for a good part of my morning, as people begin to trickle in and start their days. Armed with hot coffee, cold water & the unsettling silence of my small office building, I begin my day. This always includes logging into Google Play, and hitting the “play” button on a carefully curated soundtrack of songs just perky enough to wake me up, but calm and gentle enough to do it slowly. I’m going to share that playlist with you today, in hopes that it will improve your Monday, and your morning routine, whatever it may be.

  • Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High – The Arctic Monkeys
  • Ancient History (acoustic) – Set It Off
  • Bloodstream – Ed Sheeran
  • Gold Dust – Banners
  • Islands – The XX
  • I Took A Pill In Ibiza – Mike Posner
  • Death of a Bachelor – PANIC! At The Disco
  • There’s A Ghost – Fleurie
  • Sympathy – Hedley
  • Porcelain – Skott
  • Wildfire – Demi Lovato
  • Hell No – Ingrid Michaelson
  • Here – Alessia Cara
  • Boyz n’ Poizn – Phoebe Ryan
  • Wild – Troye Sivan
  • Too Good – Drake
  • Burn – The Temper Trap
  • Hide Away – Daya
  • Holiday From Real – Jack’s Mannequin
  • Close – Nick Jonas ft. Tov Lo
  • She Looks So Perfect (cover) – Against The Current

My parents always taught me that sharing is caring, so here, have a link to listen to this playlist yourself.

christina.

I don’t know why tragedies have this way of bringing people together like few other things do – like we all want to experience the same sadness and heartbreak, and feel the same pain as everyone else. It’s so weird to me – I never want my strongest bond with someone to be over a shared painful memory.

But tonight, the Internet is bonded. Tonight our hearts collectively ache and we share the same confusion and anger. Tonight, a beautiful and talented 22 year old – who many, including myself, watched grow up via YouTube – is dead and we will never understand why.  What was the point? How does something like this even happen? Where was venue security, or even her own security detail? How are water bottles and cameras confiscated at concerts but guns manage to slip through the cracks? These mistakes are not okay – these are the type of mistakes that quite literally end lives.

My heart is absolutely shattered for her family. I can’t … I truly can’t begin to imagine their state of mind right now. Her parents will never understand why their daughter is gone. Their pain will never go away. Her brother, the guy who tackled a man with a gun to save his sister, will spend his life thinking he could have reacted faster, and done more. He will never forgive himself for the actions of an absolute sociopath. I’m trying to comprehend what he might be feeling at this moment and my brain won’t even let me go there. My brother is one of the most important humans in the world to me and if, God forbid, we were ever in a similar situation …  I would hate myself every single day for not doing more. For not being able to save him.

Her family’s pain will never be gone. Over time it will lessen but it will never go away. They will never have answers, or understand the reasons or motives behind this fucking insanity. For them there is no silver lining, no greater plan or lesson to be learned. Their lives are forever changed.

I have no political stance or life lesson at the end of this. Frankly I don’t think this is the time. I can leave you only with this: Love each other while you can. Tell those that you love how important they are to you, every chance you get. Love intensely. Love powerfully.

Love always.
Love all ways.

(This was my favourite Christina Grimme performance – from when she was on The Voice a few years back. I know everyone is talking about her cover of Titanium or her original music but… I just always really liked this one.)

torn jeans + bowler hats.

1
2 3
4
This is quickly becoming my favourite spot. The drive to get there is lovely, especially this time of year with the colors of Autumn everywhere, and I have yet to see another living person there. It’s completely out of the way, and such a great spot to hang out with a book or play some music while enjoying what’s left of the beautiful weather for this year. As an added bonus, it’s pretty private so I don’t feel like a moron taking pictures for the blog.

The soundtrack for this photoshoot was Demi Lovato’s Confident, which was released on Friday. It’s literally all I’ve been listening to all weekend and I don’t foresee that changing any time soon. Demi’s been a longtime favourite of mine, both musically and as fashion inspiration. Her edgy, yet always classy sense of style definitely inspired this outfit.

Hedley: 10 Years

Today, I might get a little personal. I’ve been neck-deep in nostalgia in the last few weeks with some old friends, and I am loving it. Last month was the 10 year anniversary of my favourite band’s first album. Today, October 05 2015 is the 10 year anniversary of the first time I saw them live, AKA the best day of my life and something I’d been waiting for over a year to have the chance to do. In the last decade, they’ve put out 5 albums (and are currently working on LP6) and I’ve seen them every time they’ve been in my province. I’ve met them, I’ve had late-night chat session with them, I’ve had the insane opportunities to listen to rough cuts of songs before they’ve been released, and I have had the absolute joy and pleasure of meeting some of the most amazing humans because of this band. Today, I want to talk about Hedley.

I never thought that a band would have so much impact on my life, but they have. Somehow, they push me to be a better person, and to become someone worth being. They remind me that no matter who you are, you can have an influence on someone or something. They’ve taught me how to actively seek happiness instead of just waiting around on it. But I think the biggest thing they’ve taught me is to just be yourself. Honestly, truly, fuck anyone who doesn’t like you, just be you. And when I talk about these lessons and values they’ve placed in my life, I don’t just mean that they’re lyrics have inspired me that much. That’s the thing about discovering your favourite band before they “make it” – you actually have the chance to get to know them because they have like, 100 other fans. You spend late nights on their fan forum and they begin to recognize you – first by your username, then your photo, then they just know you.

But in all honesty, the fact that those 4 guys know my name isn’t even the best part. The best part is the community they’ve created, and the friendships I’ve built because of those 4 guys. This band is one of the reasons that my best friend and I initially bonded during lonely nights chatting on MSN Messenger until 4AM. I have phone numbers in my contact list stretching from Surrey, BC to London, ON to who-knows-where in New Brunswick even thought I’ve never been to those places, because I’ve had the opportunity to meet other fans from across the country. I’ve made some genuine, lifelong friends and I don’t know if I otherwise would have ever met half of these people. Hedley did that for me.

There’s so much I need to thank these guys for – friendships forged, memories made and life lessons learned. They are always there for me in a way that I can’t explain. They somehow seem to always know what to say and when it needs to be said. I am so genuinely proud of these 4 boys for growing from a shitty garage band to an amazing, refined talent, and I’m insanely lucky for having them to grow up with. They’ve challenged and shaped me in a really weird way and for that, I am eternally grateful.

Remember you matter.
Remember they don’t

-jwh

F A V O U R I T E S

Unless you’re a YouTube beauty vlogger, no one ever asks you, “Hey, what’s your favourite stuff right now?”, which I think is completely unfair. The amount of times I text people about insignificant things that like, ‘totally changed my life for reals though’ is ridiculous. So, while I sip wine out of a My Little Pony mug, here, have a blog post. IMG_5288Just Peachy by David’s Tea
 This tea actually came out last year in David’s Tea’s summer collection. Iced peach tea is my favourite thing to drink in the summertime, like, I can’t even tell you how much of this I could drink in a day. I was really bummed when they decided not to bring it back this year, but by some miracle 2014 Stephanie must have known this would happen, and I discovered a full cannister last month! So now I can spend another summer sipping on this and I’m probably more excited than I should be. IMG_5285Glamoflage by Hard CandyReady, Set Gorgeous by Covergirl, and Smooth Skin BB Radiance Powder by NYC
After roughly 10 years of doing makeup daily, I have finally discovered my number one, holy grail foundation combination. Despite the ridiculous names (I mean really, Glamoflage? Ready, Set, Gorgeous? Where are your standards, cosmetics companies?), I’m obsessed – for real, not in a ‘OMG I’m obsessed JK I’ll forget about this in a week’ kind of way. I have never used a better combination of foundation products – it’s not heavy, it lets my skin breathe while still having enough coverage to even out my skin tone, and the colour basically melts into my skin. It’s amazing. The best part, though? All 3 of these products can be purchased at the drugstore for under $17. Insanity! IMG_5283Mint Cocoa Crunch Mints by Saybon
Let me preface this by saying that I think the combination of mint and chocolate is straight out of hell. It’s just so wrong. These, however… I honestly don’t know what it is. These are so good. I can’t stop; We have a dish of them sitting in my office and it’s right next to my desk -the struggle is real, let me tell you. IMG_5289Romper by WalMart (I know, I was surprised too)
This is not new or revolutionary. It’s summer, it’s the season of rompers. I’ve struggled with this trend since it’s conception – I liked the idea but couldn’t get past the fact that it reminded me of a baby’s onesie. The fact that I’m 5’0 on a good day and have enough trouble looking my age is it is lead me to decidethat this trend wasn’t for me. However this year, I tried a few and was disappointed – they all seemed to be too small in the shorts-part and too poofy in the top part. But then one day, strolling through WalMart aimlessly, as you do, I happened upon this one. It was a different style from the ones I had been trying so I figured, “hey, it’s $12 – what’s the worst that could happen?” So I took it home with me and guess what? Now I have a romper that works on my awkward, boyish body. Now if I could just figure out a simpler way to pee while wearing it…IMG_5308Overcast
I’m just gonna come out and say it – I hate the iTunes podcast app. I hate it. It’s not user-friendly, and it does this thing where it will start playing the podcasts, but with no audio. What?! That’s the whole point! This app has been a lifesaver – Maybe not literally, but I love my podcasts so it’s definitely been really great to have. It works with iTunes so it has all the same podcasts, and gets new episodes at the same time, it’s just a different interface. Since switching to Overcast, I haven’t had any issues. I filed away the iTunes podcast app in my “stupid” folder and haven’t looked back since. IMG_1793Imagine Dragons
Earlier this month, I had the absolute pleasure of taking my brother to see his favourite band live. Walking into a concert venue and feeling the energy in the building – that’s my happy place. That’s the best moment to be in, no matter the band that’s playing. If you have the opportunity to go see Imagine Dragons live, take it. Even if you don’t really like them, just go. It was a mind-blowing concert. They perform so well, their light show was absolutely incredible, and I have dubbed them the Unofficial Kings of Drum Solos (a very prestigious award in my world – drummers are my favourites). Not to mention, Dan Reynolds got that white boy groove so, you have to go just to see him dance around during Shots.

There – my favourites. Thank you for letting me be narcissistic and talk about the random crap that I think is interesting.