Friday, March 30, 2012

Happiness Is...

...A spur of the moment trip, to a city where you lived for a few years on your own, away from close family and friends, left to create your own, new little life.

...A new book by a favourite author, just waiting to be opened and devoured.

...A coffee date with a good friend, catching up on all the events that have happened during months of separation.

...A fabulous meal, cooked by myself, full of nutritious, delicious ingredients.

...An evening spent curled up on the couch watching a favourite film.

What is happiness to you? :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today I celebrated my 27th birthday. I turned 27 on the 27th.

Now, some of you may not know this, but when you turn the age of your birth date, it's called your Champagne Birthday. And since I'm a big believer in celebrating special things like this, I decided way back at the beginning of the year that I would have to do something really big for this birthday.

After weeks of thinking and failed plans, I came across a seat sale on Air Canada, and decided on the spur of the moment to book a trip to Toronto for the weekend before my birthday...and off I went! I'll be posting an entry in a few days once I'm settled again, but in the meantime,

Happy Birthday to Me. :) 26 was a good year, but I know 27 has so much more in store for me. Here's to the next 12 months!

Friday, March 23, 2012

You Write How You Speak or You Speak How You Write?

A few weeks ago, one of my co-workers and I were having a conversation about something and I was telling her a story. I have no idea what the story was about, but when I was finished, she was looking at me kind of funny, and after a pause, said, "Have you noticed that you talk the way you blog?" And I replied, "...what? What do you mean?" She said, "The way you speak is exactly the same way that you write your blog."

So that got me thinking. And then it got me re-reading some of my blog entries. But I didn't have to read much, because I already knew that what she'd said was true.

My good friend Sara, author of Gravitas & Giggles, coincidentally wrote a blog post similar to this a little while ago, and I happened across it earlier this week when I was writing my Recommended Reads Part 2 post. Sara really put it perfectly when she said her ears are her editors, and I think mine are the same.

As I write a blog entry, I can hear myself saying the words in my head, the same way I'd say them out loud. It's exactly the way I would say them if you and I were having a conversation. Heck, I'm doing it right now!

I guess I write the way I write (and speak) because I like my writing to be pretty simple. When I write a blog entry, it's usually for my own enjoyment, but I'm also thinking of the possibility that someone else is going to read it, and I want it to be an easy, enjoyable experience for them as well. I don't want them to have to tax their brain and wonder what a certain word means. So I keep it plain and simple.

When you work in communications and a large part of your work is written, you're always thinking about the flow of your writing. Whenever I write something, my brain is editing it at the same time, to make sure that what I'm trying to say makes sense in the best possible way. When it comes to blogging, I end up applying the same techniques. The PR girl in me crosses over into many other parts of my life, apparently!

So, fellow bloggers, what about your blogging styles? Do you find you do the same thing, or something similar? Are your ears your editors, as Sara said? Let me know!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Recommended Reads Part 2

A couple of weeks ago, I talked about five of my favourite blogs to read, and explained some of the things I love about them. I promised a part 2, and I don't like to disappoint; so here's Part 2 of my Recommended Reads!

a diary of little things and curiosities
I can't even remember how I came across Laura's blog, but from the first post I fell in love with it. Laura has this way of writing that sucks you in and makes you want to go back and read all of her blog entries. Whether she's blogging about where she lives or how she feels about something, her style is captivating. My favourite part of Laura's blog is her "Today I Believe" series, which I've blogged about before. She has a way of putting into words exactly how I feel about something, but can't seem to put into words myself. Her blog is a great read!

Amanda and I went through our PR program together a few years ago, and back then she was a blogging pro. I love reading Amanda's blog and catching up on her photo series, or her reviews of products that she's tried over the years. I also really like the premise of her blog "not a model", meaning that nobody's perfect, but everyone is beautiful in their own way. That being a notamodel is more about accepting yourself and embracing yourself. It's a refreshing read for sure!

It's a Colourful Life
Meghan and I have been best friends for over twenty years and ever since we were little, I knew she was really artistic. Whether it was doodling on the corners of notebooks or decorating display boards for school projects, Meg has always been creative. So when she started an interior design program last year, it really came as no surprise to those of us who know her. Since she started her blog last year, she's filled it with pictures of great decorating ideas for the holidays, beautiful furniture and creative ways to use the most random of items (like mason jars!) For some design inspiration, check out Meg's blog; you just might get some ideas for your next DIY project!

Gravitas & Giggles
Sara is one of my best friends from university who I did a term abroad in England with. It didn't take us long to become fast friends with our shared love of things like ruggedly handsome foreign men and coffee. Sara is a wonderful writer who composes poems, short fiction and has even written some children's stories. She posts her writings every once in a while on her blog, along with musings about books or her thoughts on the art of writing and of literature. What draws me to her blog the most is how she writes - so thought out and words carefully chosen, her poetry isn't the only writing that's magnificent; even just her every day blog is.

stephanie fusco 
Stephanie is a fellow PR girl who lives in Toronto and blogs about fashion, lifestyle and living in Toronto. Like some of the other blogs I enjoy reading, she writes products reviews and tells about her experiences at events around Toronto. She recently attended the launch of Banana Republic's Mad Men collection, which had some gorgeous pieces, like the Betty dress. Stephanie and I share a love for the colour pink, so usually when she posts about an article of clothing that comes in our signature colour, I fall in love with it too! Check out Stephanie's blog for some great posts about fashion, TO events and PR musings!

So there you have it - my weekly reading list. These blogs never fail to educate me on the latest trends in fashion, the hottest new restaurants in Toronto, great design ideas for my home, and new ways to cook healthy treats. I always enjoy posts from the bloggers listed above and in Part 1, and if you check them out, you might find that you enjoy their blogs too. :)

Happy Reading!

Friday, March 2, 2012

This Blogger's Recommended Reads!

I've been thinking about this week's blog post and I've been trying to figure out what to write about. Transatlantic Tastes is still on hiatus, but will hopefully be back next week. In the mean time, a blog post by my cousin-in-law, Colleen, got me thinking about blogging.

Colleen is a faithful blogger who posts nearly every day. Almost every morning when I come into work and turn on the ol' computer, one thing I do while I'm waiting for my email to load is go read her latest blog post. Doing this yesterday made me think about the other blogs I like to read regularly.

So, in the same sort of way people on Twitter participate in "Follow Friday" and recommend Twitter users other people should "follow", this post is my recommendation to you for blogs that you may enjoy reading, because I sure do!

{Every Day}

My cousin-in-law, Colleen, writes a wonderful blog from her perspective as a new mom. She talks babies, family, recipes and running, just to name a few topics. One of the reasons I love Colleen's blog is because she always posts amazing recipes, and her photography displays her culinary creations beautifully. As well, I always love seeing new pictures of my new little cousin, and her blog is a great way to keep up with how much he's been growing!

Shades of Aquarius

Katie and I went to PR school together a few years ago, and back then, I knew she was super fashionable. I think this girl has always been fashionable. But what I didn't know, and soon learned from her blog, is that she's also an amazing cook. Katie has blogged about so many delicious-looking and sounding dishes that she's made, I've had to make a list of the ones I'm dying to try myself, just to keep track of them all. I always enjoy reading her blog because I get to see what's happening with the latest fashion shows in the industry, and learn a new recipe while I'm at it.

It's a savoury life

Rebecca is a friend of mine from high school who lives in Ontario and works as a dietician. Her blog is generally consists of recipes and ways to take better care of yourself in terms of food and health. One thing I love about Rebecca's posts, however, is that as a dietician, she explains everything that she's posting about, like telling you the health benefits of different beans, or listing out a recipe for a deliciously healthy pizza and telling you which veggies would not only taste great on it, but the nutritional information that goes along with them. Her blog has made me stop and think about different foods that I used to avoid, but now include in my diet regularly.

The A List
Alanna is another former PR classmate from Toronto who writes the super popular blog, The A List. If I ever want to know what's happening in the celebrity world (and really, who doesn't?) I turn to Alanna. I love catching up on all the latest gossip and videos that Alanna posts, especially the videos about Sophia Grace and Rosie these days! Alanna also attends a lot of entertainment functions around Toronto, so it's really cool to read about her experiences at things like TIFF.

the rural knitter

Kayla and I studied abroad in England together during our undergrad, during the best months of my life (and possibly hers). Kayla's worn a few different hats in her time, (figuratively) but these days, her recent hobby has her wearing many different hats (literally). A newcomer to knitting, she picked up the skill faster than I could ever hope to, and has made some amazing pieces, one of which I'm sporting in the picture below. I love reading Kayla's blog and seeing what new piece she's knitted. Maybe I can wrangle a pair of mitts of of her sometime, to match my gorgeous pink hat. :)

So, these are some of the blogs that I read regularly and always look forward to new posts from. If you're looking for something to add to your reading list, why not check out one or all of these wonderful blogs?

I'll post Part 2 of my Recommended Reads next week. Until then, have a happy week!