May 20th.

waking up because you want to.

peppermint shampoo makes you feel fresh.

tofu scramble with a side of avocado.

wobbly bike rides, but its alright because you are with the girls.

kiss the kitten to sleep.

nostalgic freezies.

nuts on the vegan pizza.

bra strap sun burn line.

high waisted denim can never lose.

europe 2015.

gold body paint; coachella ready.

The days just exist.

it is up to you to find something good.


The River.

Lets be honest, it has been a while. The amount of drafts that sit on my dashboard like mouldy leftovers is worrying. Write a few sentences, the topic unknown, each sentence chasing the tail of the other but for no apparent reason. The excitement of a good idea suddenly withers away when it can’t grow more than a few lines long. Maybe it is a poem. No, poetry is much more than just an excuse for me giving up. I will come back it to it later. Perhaps my bus ride home will  give me some new found wisdom. I fell asleep on the bus that day, and instead of critically examining my surroundings for new ideas, I am dreaming about dinner.

It is this continual process, that leads to the graveyard of half finished blog posts, quarter made dresses, almost finished self portraits without the hands because I am no good at the hands.

This is fault of mine, the lack of finishing things. Maybe it is because I am lazy. Thats what I tell myself anyways. I dream of the day when I have a book written, a clothing line in the physical world, and I have six pack abs.

I hate to say but this isn’t a blog post about success. I am not going to say that yesterday I finished all the blogs post that I set out to write those many afternoons ago, or that dress that I started three years ago has been put together. I am still looking at a pile of unfinished, half alive dreams.

We all have this incomplete pile of ambitions, a constant reminder of what we haven’t done. And when I look at the pile, no matter how big, I get this feeling in my gut, as if I have had too many espresso’s. My mouth dries out a little, and start to think about what I have done. Is there anything valuable I have achieved? If I were to die tomorrow, what do I have to leave behind in this world? What will others remember me by?

I remind myself that isn’t about others, but then again, when is it not?

That feeling in my gut doesn’t seem to go away.

Am I depressed? Is there something wrong with me? When am I going to be ‘something’?

I know these are dangerous questions, but I still ask them.

As this point, I have done nothing for my situation. I have inched toward self destruction, providing myself with a path that only leads nowhere.

So I go for a run. I do something that is simple, instinctive and meditative. It’s important to find those things. I run down to the river.

I take off my shoes, and stand in the freezing water. Its cold, its uncomfortable, but its real. I can feel it. I cry.

Going to the river doesn’t change me.

But it brings clarity.


For all my sisters.



you have heard it. don’t deny it. you are beautiful. look inside yourself and find out what that means to you. you are the only one who can find the beauty. embrace.

respect that beauty. it is precious.

love your body. feel your body. move in your body. nourish your body. appreciate your body.

you are strong. inside and out. you are a powerful force that should not be smothered.

sometimes, you will have to fight.

fight with love. with understanding. with generosity. with an open mind. with hope. anger and hate doesn’t lead to enlightened places.

you deserve. you deserve the power to say no, to say yes. you deserve self worth and appreciation.

smile at how far we have come. pray for better days to come tomorrow, for those who are not as fortunate as you.

this doesn’t have to be a burden. it doesn’t mean it is easy.

find the miracles within you and let them grow.

Mad love for the ladies.




Today, December 31st, is the day when we all have a least one moment thinking about what we have or haven’t achieved that year. When I woke up this morning at 10:19 am (no shame at all) my stream of thoughts flowed a little bit like this:

I never finished that dress I started over 6 months ago. I bought that pattern two years ago. I said I was going to train for a marathon and even bought that expensive training guide but never got around to that. That cost me sixty dollars. Ugh. I promised I would post more blogs, but that didn’t really happen. I bet no one even reads them anyways. I should have submitted more work to more places. Well, lets hope next year will be better.

Needless to say, I pulled the covers over my head, grumbled slightly and did not wake up until midday.

It seems that the two hours I have been awake have brought me more wisdom than anticipated. I dragged myself to the Yoga Mat, as I have to do most days, even though I would much rather be watching the Dateline Episode in which some woman dissolved her husband in a bucket of acid (that was hard to admit).

I start Day 29 of my 30 Days of Yoga with Adriene, and begin to breathe. “A deep cleansing breath,” Adriene says. The breath travels through my nose, and out through my mouth. Into my nose, out through my mouth.

“Focus on your breath”, she says.

Suddenly, I feel present. Strange how just a few deep breaths, just some good old oxygen, can transform your state of mind. I don’t want to say I had an epiphany, but something jiggled inside me for sure. This whole year was full of disappointments, as most years are. I didn’t do many of the things I set out to do, as most of us do. However, by waking up this morning, and packaging up the year of 2015 into a small parcel of disappointment, I was casting a dark black muggy cloud over everything wondrous that happened that year and placing a huge amount of pressure on myself for the year to come. Recipe for success, I think not.

I had seemed to forget that I took a mind boggling fantastic trip to Europe with one of the most amazing humans on this planet. It had just slipped my mind that I had gotten into the BFA Creative Writing Program at UBC, a dream of mine for quite a few years now. I guess I didn’t notice that I was alive, sitting in my own clean, comfortable bedroom, breathing oxygen, and being able to enjoy the luxuries of a yoga practice. For all this, I am eternally grateful.

Today I propose a task to anyone who reads this. Sit down for five minutes, take at least ten cleansing breaths, and think about how you feel right now. Think about all the things that have happened this year, amazing and hardly amazing at all, and think about how those things make you feel right now, in this moment. Write it down, sing about it, do an interpretative dance about it. Your past experiences are important. They help you grow and learn, but at the end of the day, you are the one who decides what you want to carry with you into tomorrowland. So choose wisely.


Mad Love and Happy New Year.

Mr. Frodo.


Dear Mr. Frodo,

On Tuesday November 10th, I saw you for the last time, curled in your usual spiral in the left corner of the living room. Part of me just wanted to quickly glance over, and give you a little pat on the head, or a scratch on the ear and continue on with my daily routine, knowing that you would still be there when I got home, probably in the same position. But the vet was coming that afternoon, to send you on your way, and I knew this would be the last moment to see your handsome face.

I felt like Samwise Gamgee, wanting to throw you on my back and carry you the rest of the way, even though you could no longer walk 3 steps without going full Bambi.

“Come on Mr. Frodo, dear. Sam will give you a ride, just tell him where to go and he’ll go”.

Then I remember, we aren’t in Mordor, and the fate of Middle-earth does not rest on our shoulders.

Although, it kind of felt like it.

This was your time to leave, I knew that. You were tired. Your once reddish gold face had transitioned to greyish white. I stroked your head, and you grumbled a little. I would like to think you were saying goodbye.

“Goodbye Mr. Frodo.”

You see, you were more than a Ridge-less Rhodesian Ridgeback. You were a constant presence. Always there in the corner, tirelessly loyal, and constantly stubborn. 

I forgive you for eating my Barbie’s, my Polly Pockets and my Bratz, and just one of my new spotty shoes from Zara. I forgive you for eating my new watermelon Lipsmacker and Santa’s Dundee cake.

The corner in the living room where your bed used to be looks rather empty these last couple days. I almost expect to wake up, and see your little brown feet hanging over the edge of your cradle, and your soft wheezing snores breaking the silence ever so slightly.

Farewell old man. The 13 years we spent together will never be forgotten.

Mad Love.








September Shift.

Terry-Dayne and I spent an hour on Sunday night rearranging the furniture in my bedroom. It felt exciting, almost as if it was a brand new space again, and sitting in my bed writing this, I am constantly looking around admiring all the new angles I had never seen before. Very pleased and slightly tired, I am ready to fall into my old familiar bed that has just found a different spot, but something Terry-Dayne said can’t seem to leave me. “Sometimes we need to change something. Just make sure it is the right thing.”

I sit in this thought for a little bit. His words seemed prophetic. We all know that uncomfortable feeling, where nothing seems to fit. Our clothes, our routines, our jobs, and even our relationships. We wiggle around here and there, but nothing in its current state is working. The flow that we once had, is completely gone. Therefore, we jump to the next conclusion; something has to shift. We never like to endure the feeling of discomfort, so we quickly jump to conclusions, sometimes without much reason at all, other than to escape the discomfort of the feeling uncomfortable.

This can be dangerous. We get into a panic mode, and we all know that panicked decisions are never the best. Why is it that we fear discomfort? I don’t think the answer to this question is entirely clear. But we all seem to have this strange idea that we need to have everything figured out. That every moment in our lives need to be organized and in control.

Well, that sounds boring. And slightly unrealistic.

In yoga, without sitting in the discomfort of a position, without discovering it’s difficult spots and sometimes painful sensations, it never becomes comfortable. Instead of breathing through the hard bits, we change to another position, that we already know we are good at. This is, in many senses, giving up. Don’t waste time doing the things you have already mastered. How do we learn, grow and discover more about ourselves unless we take what makes us uncomfortable and stare at it for a bit. It is not enjoyable by any means, but most of the time, it brings us clarity. We have dealt with something, instead of sweeping it under the rug for it to come up at another, probably more inconvenient time. Once understanding the true way of things, which can take more time and patience than you would like, we can begin to make meaningful and mindful change in our lives.

And sometimes, all you need is to put your bed in a different spot, and your whole perspective change. Right next to me, a new space has opened up in my own room, that I didn’t even know was there. Really, its all about how you look at things.

Howe Sound Adventures.

September has crept in, and school has commenced. I hate to be nostalgic but I am always nostalgic, so here I go, clinging onto one of many adventures of this past summer. Terry-Dayne and I are explorers. And after doing our first exploration of 8 European countries this past summer, we decided to uncover the beauties of our own back gardens. The Howe Sound Crest Trail had been on our check list for a while, and a bad habit of ours has been to fantasize  the infamous day when we are going to do epic things. So, we pulled ourselves together and snagged a few days off work to explore the trip from Cypress to Porteau Cove, which taught me a lot more than I had anticipated.


All I could see were roots. And dirt. Roots and dirt had been my closest companions for the last hour. It was a tight trail that seemed practically parallel to myself, and yesterday’s raindrops that were perched on the leaves of the blueberry bushes were decorating the better part of me. We had been hiking for around 8 hours, and it still felt as though we were no closer to where we needed to go. I looked up. Roots and dirt. Each step I was growing slightly heavier, and hoisting myself up the steep climb was becoming more difficult. My mouth was bone dry and I knew we wouldn’t have anymore water for at least another hour. “Ella, your body can’t take this. You are not strong,” my mind would remind me with the utmost pleasure. “You should just stop here, you can do the rest tomorrow”. It was a constant battle of whether or not to stop and breathe, with the possible chance that resuming the climb would be just a little bit harder. I felt like crying. I felt helpless to the climb, to the mountain and to the wilderness. I felt the jaws of the peak, chewing me up, preparing to spit me out and send me flying back down to the bottom. I felt my happiness, and my motivation deflate and degrade, and inevitably disappear.

You forget how hard the journey is going to be. We all talk about climbing mountains and doing epic shit. It sounds so great when we talk about, about the magical feeling of being in nature and one with the evergreens. Eating fresh blueberries and cooling down in a glacial lake. The magnificent views and the cozy tents with a cup of tea in our new compact hammock is what we salivate over and brag to our friends about. But when you put on that big backpack that holds your life for the next couple days, and look up that hill, you probably won’t be seeing no hammocks or freshly brewed tea. Maybe try endless root ladders and burning quads.

The minute you step into the trees, there is no hiding. No hiding from the elements and no hiding from yourself. You are exhausted and tired, you hurt and you sting, and then you come face to face with someone familiar; someone who is most likely standing in your path. You have a good long chat, maybe get a little frustrated, but then you realize that that person is amazing. They set out on this journey, this epic exploration when they could be perched on the couch eating popcorn. This person is strong, and despite what anyone thinks, they made it this far and they can make it to end. That person is you.

I grab the next rung of the never ending root ladder. Despite my discomfort, I had to keep going. Because that what we do. We keep going. I looked up no longer to dirt and roots, but to blue sky. We had conquered the peak, and I could feel the fresh breeze on my nose. The most magnificent scene panned out before us; I could barely speak at the sight of it. Terry-Dayne gave me a kiss, and congratulated me on the climb. The moment was saturated with hard work and a more than satisfying view. We looked forward to see two more peaks in our path, looking rather similar to one we had just practically given our souls to. Take a deep breath and put one foot in front of the other. “One down, three to go”.

2015-08-06 19.19.31


“ I love adventure. Not to “challenge myself” as others like to say, but to reveal myself to myself. There’s a clarity that comes after 10 hours of straight physical exertion that is better than any drug (at least any I did when I was hiding behind the bleachers in high school) and cheaper than any therapy. It’s an unfiltered view inside of oneself.” Matt Ruscigno

2015-08-06 13.56.35

(P.S. ^This is adventure hiker man Terry-Dayne)


My mother and I were sitting at the kitchen table drinking a glass of wine. It was one of many glasses; we had stopped counting. It made me blush to see her so happy about my arrival. It was as if my absence had made us closer. She looked at me in the eyes and said “If I can give one piece of advice, be thankful that everything is the same.”

For the last two months and one week, my wonderful right hand man Terry-Dayne and myself set out on our first European adventure. It was a whirlwind of experience and emotion, with a constant flow of inspiration. As we meandered through the Swiss Alps and roller skated in Berlin, home looked like an empty pit, with nothing but familiarity and a job. We were in the world of the different and home would always be the same.

When you think of home, you know what to expect. You will come home to your dad’s lentil soup and your 15 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback’s strange coughing. You will go back to your old job, where the same customers ask for the same thing everyday. Everything is the same. Except you.

You have experienced a worldly adventure, packed with rich memories and bizarre stories. You got to wake up each morning and not know what you were going to see, or where exactly you were going to go. Your freedom was hardly tethered, and your creativity was eating a daily feast.

When I came back Thursday evening, everything was the same. Except me. I had a plethora of ideas that had been steeping and stewing, and wherever we went, the list had gotten larger and more exciting. I was fully saturated with inspiration.

After dwelling on my mother’s words, I realized that home is what you make it. Maybe everything around is boring. But it is also stable, and supporting. It is the perfect environment for me to begin to recreate the wonders from my travels in different forms, to write that book I have always wanted to write or to paint that picture I have perched in my mind. Without a place to go back to, travel is a different kind of experience. One that can be exciting and daring, with a consistent edge and uncertainty. But home is comfort and luxury that I will never again take advantage of. It is a platform for growth and experimentation, that many of us do not get to enjoy.

As I am writing this, my dad ask’s, “Is it nice to be home, Ella?”.

“Yes, Daddy.”

Netflix isn’t going anywhere.

I would like to first apologize for my 2 month hiatus. Perhaps I should have taken some of the advice that I am going to give you right now.

Most of you are in the midst of the yucky, sticky, ooey, gooey end of term stage. We all know it’s coming, yet when it arrives on our doorstep, we never really seem to know what to do. How inconvenient. I am no expert, however, as a student who has experienced this ever dreaded time, I surprisingly have some tricks up my sleeve.

Now, I am going to go a little hippie on all of you. But hippie never hurt no one. Before you start to study, write that paper, draw that picture, or tackle that Stats assignment, get yourself in a comfortable state of mind.

You need to prep your mind before the battle, put it in its best armour because it is going to receive a beating. Go for a run, have a green juice, have a cold shower, or get down a give me 20. Everyone is different, everyone has a different way to get pumped and ready.

Your mind is ready.

Now lets go.

First things first,


I know Netflix is tempting but Netflix isn’t going anywhere. However, you only have one chance to pass your Physics exam. No re-runs on that one.

2. Chip away little and often.

This is one from mumma’s books. And mumma knows best. We all seem to look at everything as one big huge impossible heap, and our destination is the top. However, this is where we all fail miserably myself included.

SCENARIO 1:  Say you have 3 essays, an exam to study for , a presentation about Mrs Warrens Profession and a cook book you have to write for your culinary school application. You are feeling extremely overwhelmed, and you know that you cookbook has to be finished first. Therefore, you spend 2 weeks working purely on your culinary school application. When you finish you go to make yourself a cup of tea and put your feet up, and catch up on Mad Men. Then you realize  you only have two days to work on your 3 essays, study for your exam, and create your presentation. Mad Men and a good night sleep will have to wait.

SCENARIO 2: Say you have 3 essays, an exam to study for, a presentation about Mrs Warrens Profession and a cook book you have to write for your culinary application. You have two weeks to complete all of this. You know that even though your culinary school is due 2 days before everything else, you must chip away little and often at everything. Therefore, you dedicate a small slot of time for everything everyday. Whether it is 15 minutes or 2 hours; it doesn’t matter. As long as you do a bit of everything, everyday.

Scenario 2 is progressive. You are multi tasking and moving forward, instead of working on 1 thing, finishing it and then going back to the beginning for something else. Scenario 1 is stressful. And maybe your culinary school application is killer.

Whenever you ask yourself that questions, where do I start?

Start with a little bit of everything.

3. Look at the Big Picture.

You are studying and everything is swell. You are looking at how nuclear fission works. You are trying to understand it in your head, which seems really small. You get frustrated. You try harder and harder to understand it. You grab your hair and pull it out. You read it again and it still doesn’t make sense. You google it. It still doesn’t make sense.


You start to go very red in the face. You are breathing heavily and exuding anger. You start to grow very large, veiny muscles. Your skin turns a pea green. You are the Hulk.

Take a step back: It is just physics, it is just nuclear fission. Scientist took years to figure this stuff out themselves. I am not dumb, I am not stupid.

Take responsibility for the situation: I signed up for this course. So I have to roll with the punches. I need to stop blaming google and my professor for not giving me the answers. I got myself in this, and can get myself through. There are plenty of other people who would die to be stressing over a question on their Physics assignment. I am lucky to be in this situation.

Take the next step: I am going to come back to this question, maybe I will gain new perspective as I go through the rest of the assignment.

Whatever you do, don’t push, and don’t press. Just sit back and relax, scan over the situation, and then re insert yourself.

4. EAT and SLEEP.

The way I look at this, is that what you don’t do today, you will pay for tomorrow.

Didn’t have time to eat breakfast today because you stayed up too late last night writing your paper, and now you have to print it and your bus comes in 3 minutes? Thats all and good for now. But later, will suck.

Your body is a ticking time bomb. You may think you can survive without food and sleep, and just survive on coffee and tic tacs.

However, sooner or later, your body will hate you a lot. And will reduce you to a lump on the ground, where you can do nothing at all.

So respect the vessle that carries you around.

5. How to deal with a case of Scenario 1.

So we are all silly humans whose brains can get a bit like scrambled eggs.

If you follow the above advice, you should never get here.

So lets say its 10:50. You have 2 essays to write; one of them on Quantum mechanics, and the other on the Importance of Being Earnest. They are due tomorrow

First step.


In these situations, you need to have faith that you are going to get this done. You have done it before, and you can do it again. You don’t know how, but you will finish.

Remember that mind prepping we did earlier? Do this again. Maybe it is just a few breaths or maybe it is Child’s Pose.

In conclusion.

Start early. Prep your mind and body for battle. Relax. Don’t panic. You will get it done, somehow. If you start late, that sucks, but you will still get it done somehow. Eat, sleep, repeat. Netflix isn’t going any where.

Mad Love.



The Bees Knees.

The Family Knees.My sister once told me that my knees looked like Voldemort’s face.

After completing “The Family Knees”, I get where she is coming from.

Not many think about our knees. Or  our ear lobes, or that spot behind your ears or armpits or that knobbly bit that sticks out of your ankle ( or to be formal and fancy, your lateral malleolus). Maybe it’s because they are ugly. Maybe it’s because they do look too much like Voldemort’s face. Maybe we aren’t interested in the ugly, awkward, nobbly, wrinkly, deformed truthfulness.

But after taking these photos, and spending countless, clueless, zoomed in hours in Photoshop (in which my wonderful boyfriend Terry-Dayne saved me from close insanity ), I noticed two little scars on both my knees.

I recalled. When I was 10, at Alice Lake, I decided to ride my bike incredibly quickly down a hill, and hit a rock and flew over the handlebars. After a few rolly polly’s,  I have two pairs of scars and some blood stain  high top converse.

Whenever we fall, run, jump, swim, dance, propose, pray, and countless other practices, I doubt anyone focuses on the knees. But they let us do all of these glorious things, and it seems sad that they don’t get appreciated once in a while.

So here is a tribute to those knees, who look like Voldemort but help us stand up in the morning.

Thanks guys. You’re the bees knees.



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