Another year, another countdown

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Standing in a crowd of strangers, foreign stars lighting up the sky, heat viciously wrapping my body. I was in Cambodia, getting ready to yell the famous countdown. 10..9..8..7..6..5..4..3..2..1. Though familiarity was scarce, the energy radiating from people reminded me of home where the hope of renewal with a new year is the same.

How is it that it that life in Asia feels like yesterday but also like years ago? I get flashbacks from life in Vientiane at the most random moments; I can be focused on something at work when suddenly I get a flashback of myself biking to a friend’s place in Vientiane…That place took a piece of my heart – I miss that place with fervor.

Though the past year has welcomed many adventures and beginnings, it has been an emotional roller coaster ride. The past 12 months were home to difficult life lessons and challenges. They have nonetheless showed me the power of true friendship, family and passion.

Perhaps my biggest surprise in 2016 was choosing Ottawa as home, again. It has been an interesting decision as I navigate the old and the new. Life in your early 20’s doesn’t seem to be the easiest thing- am I right?

2017 is shaping up to be a busy year; Canada’s 150th birthday (lots of projects at work), a nomination campaign and travel. Who knows what else will add itself to the list!

Standing amongst friends, with familiar stars lighting the sky and crisp air fogging my every breath, I’ll be ringing in the New Year at home. Throwback to 8 year old me on New Year’s Eve desperately trying to stay up till midnight. Here I am at 23 years old wondering if I’ll make it to tomorrow night’s countdown…just kidding…??!!

Happy New Year everyone! Thanks again for following along 🙂

-Marielle ariane-and-mariellefamille

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I’m in love with the cocoa

img_0592Somehow, the concept of washing your hair everyday has become frowned upon. Dry-shampoo trend has marked its territory on store shelves and doesn’t seem to be leaving any time soon.

With life being busier than ever recently, I warmed up to the idea of an extra 20 minutes of sleep every morning instead of a long shower.

I made my own because 1) its cheaper and 2) no chemicals.

Recipe:

  • 1/4 cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
  • 5 drops of essential oil (optional)

img_0594I know what you’re thinking – cocoa powder?! It’s to darken the mix if you don’t have light coloured hair. This cocoa powder situation has been interesting…After applying the mix, I sometimes find my bangs still look dirty so give them a wash and a blow-dry. Enter the smell of brownies. It smells like I’m cooking up a chocolate cake in my bathroom! The funniest was when I was at the gym, sweating up a storm and all of a sudden – BROWNIES. Not everyone can say their sweat smells like chocolaty goodness ;).

I’m surprised at how much I like this dry shampoo thing. I might just stick with it.

Also, cool thing that happened at the grocery store over the weekend: I went through the self-checkout line (bless my innocent soul) and as USUAL the machine started freaking out. Insert cashier assistant that starts keying in all these numbers and transferring me to a different counter. Long story short- I got 60$ off my bill because of the inconvenience. You go right ahead and inconvenience me every week young man.

Here goes another week!

-Marielle

I’m a woman, here’s my opinion

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Tuesday, November 8th 2016… It was a day when women were to shatter that glass ceiling with full force. A day to celebrate love rather than hate. Sadly, the universe had a different plan.

It’s been a hard blow for the United States, the world and especially women. I’ve thought long and hard about what this means for us all. Sadness and worry lead my thoughts. How could this happen? Countless Youtube videos, photos, live broadcasts and tweets later, a message resonates loud and clear; fight. Fight with words, with knowledge and with awareness.

There are always heros in times of despair and this time is no exception. I look up to many incredible American women on a daily basis, and to see them raise their voice for what matters has been remarkable. Since Tuesday, these women have expressed their opinions in such eloquent, raw and sensitive ways. They inspire me to not give up, to rise up and to be the change. Amy Schumer, Olivia Wilde, Chelsea Handler and of course Hilary Clinton – you inspire me.

If such an election result can happen in the United States, it sure as heck can happen in Canada. This reality, this truth…this is what propels me. As much as I feel deflated, I feel even more passionate about being a leader in my own way.

I’ve recently become involved in a political electoral campaign and took the position of Volunteer Coordinator. I am juggling around more things in my life than a clown, but continue to find motivation somewhere inside of me to keep going. As this US election came to a close it solidified my interest in political involvement. If I want to see more women in politics, why don’t I start volunteering and being part of that change? Small commitments ( or big ) go a long way.

I write this blog post because I want to remember this moment, for better or for worse. It’s a way to keep me accountable. Talking about these things is a way for us women to come together and build each other up. To feed off each other’s energy, passions and ambitions.

Hillary, you may not have shattered that glass ceiling, but you made the biggest crack any woman ever has. Thank you.

Leaving you with an excerpt from an article that made tears swallow my eyes;

“This is what I would like you to tell your daughters today: engagement on every front is the only answer. It means that young women must participate. I do not care where. I do not care what view you take. I do not care what your political stripes are. I do not care whether I agree with you or not. What I care about is that you are seen. In every boardroom. In every school. In every C-suite. In every political party. Engineer. Artist. Judge. Politician. Doctor. Until you cannot be overlooked. Until seeing you in the highest office anywhere is as normal as breathing.

The sky is not falling. It just feels a little darker right now. She is out there. I know it in my core. In some school. On some playground. In some boardroom. She may not even know it yet. And our collective job is to light the path so everyone else can find her.”

Click here for the full article

Let’s fight for what we want and bring the next generation with us.

-Marielle

Joyeuse Halloween!

J’espère que vous avez tous passé une joyeuse Halloween. J’ai suffisamment célébré pendant le weekend, ce qui m’a donné la chance d’être une grosse patate sur le sofa hier soir. Ça fait du bien.

La belle cousine de St-Lazare, la seule et unique Kyra, est venue me rejoindre à Ottawa pour participer aux célébrations! J’ai vraiment aimé l’avoir avec moi et de lui présenter à mes amis. Je pense que le temps ensemble nous as toutes les deux changées les idées. Toutes les deux stressées en ce moment, pour différentes raisons, donc un bon 24h de fun était la bienvenue.

J’ai accueilli une quinzaine de personnes chez moi samedi…disons que tout les monde a appris à se connaître rapidement avec l’espace limité de mon appartement.  On a mangé comme des cochons et on a joué des jeux de société comme si notre vie y dépendait. Quoi de neuf?

Quelques photos ont été prises avant le début de la soirée! Vous y verrez des profs d’aérobie des années 1980, un panda, un morceau de bambou, une créature des bois et autres.

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On célébrait l’Halloween et la fête de Sam!

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Superbe soirée!

Ah l’Halloween! C’est toujours une soirée amusante mais mon doux que ça requiert de l’énergie pour ce trouver un costume!

À plus!

-Marielle

Clean, warm and hopeful

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START THE CAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’VE GOT HOT WATER, HEATING AND A WORKING DOOR.

I’ve got a few hopes left in my pocket- here’s to hoping this apartment will be worth it after all. With time I’m hoping to finalize the look of the place. For now, I’ll continue to wonder where the days go, for they pass so quickly.

Life is busy these days. The moments at home are cherished as they are rare. Maybe I’ll start staying home more often; now that it’s no longer the pit of Centretown. (exagaration?!)

Halloween weekend is upon us! I have not yet chosen a costume…some last-minute-late-night shopping is about to go down tonight.

Cheers to the weekend – eat lots of chocolate and don’t talk to clowns.

Stay tuned for next week’s post: “How to avoid doing groceries like a pro”. (These ‘stay tuned’ posts are meant to sarcastically highlight pieces of my life, in case you’re wondering.)

-Marielle

What’s that smell?!

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HA! I’ve asked myself that question one too many times since settling into my new apartment. The ancient ruin I decided to live in comes with its fare share of surprises and smells.

My favourite scent thus is of the fresh aroma of tobacco. I love how the thick air slithers it’s way through the vents and up to my nose. But the best part of it all, is how it sticks to my clothes- nothing better than free perfume amiright?

With some heavy duty tape, plastic and determination, I’ve succeeded in removing almost all traces of smoke. Looking back, I can’t help but laugh as I remember myself scrubbing walls, ceilings and floors trying to get rid of the stench…hey maybe I’ll be Cinderella for Halloween! I’ll take a picture in full cleaning action and send it to my landlord.

Friends often ask me what kind of natural products I use around the house- so I decided to share a few with you today! To help fight bad odours I’ve been using air cleaners, candles and essential oil diffusers. I think it’s really important for health and well-being to invest in quality products that don’t contain harsh chemicals. The 3 products I’m talking about today are dreamy and so worth the investment.

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I’ve been using this essential oil diffuser for months now and still love it. You can add whichever scent you like and program it for 1, 2 or 4 hours. Plug it in before bed and let the night carry you away.
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Found this new store called ‘Saje’ and it is dreamy! This 100% soy wax candle sits in a recovered white frosted glass. The smell is amazing.
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Pleasantly surprised with the emission power of this oil. Well done.

Stay tuned for next week’s post:  “5 ways to keep warm when your heating doesn’t work”.

-Marielle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17 things today

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  1. I got myself one of those job things.
  2. I also got an apartment. On my own.
  3. I hosted a board game night Saturday and it was so much fun. Kept my competitiveness at a minimum. HA! Just kidding.
  4. Bought a giant cauliflower for 1$ at the market this weekend. Score.
  5. Story: Was walking through the market and saw a woman with two tiny puppies, telling people she’d take 200$ for them. I was appalled. Who sells dogs at a market? And these dogs did not look healthy- just like their owner. I called by-law to report her because something just wasn’t right.
  6. You HAVE to watch the movie Colonia. So good.
  7. Wishing I could go out on my longboard cause it’s been SO long. But I don’t because: concussion.
  8. Bangs- you’re pissing me off. Seriously considering growing them out a little longer.
  9. I’m going out for Lao food tonight…so excited for papaya salad.
  10. I’ve had this song on repeat.
  11. I love the sound of heels clicking and clacking on the sidewalks on my way to work in the morning and seeing everyone suited up.
  12. I miss my sweet Daxton, so so much.
  13. This time last year I had been in Laos for a month. What.
  14. Shopping for gym memberships- but also considering kickboxing classes. What to choose…
  15. Survived my first Thanksgiving without turkey.
  16. A week living downtown and haven’t caved into getting take-out/eating out. Self-control on point or what?!
  17. Fall is pretty, but summer still rules over all.

Hope you all have a good Monday!

-Marielle

Hello, it’s mar

IMG_1195.JPGHello, it’s me
I was wondering if after all these weeks you’d like to read
To go over everything
They say that 23 is gonna teach ya
Boy I done much learning

Hello, can you hear me
I’m in Ottawa dreaming about how Lao used to be
When I was younger and carefree
I’ve forgotten how it felt before Canada fell at my feet

There’s such a difference between these lives
And a million miles

Hello from the other side
I must have thought a thousand times
To hop on another plane
But when I think of leaving I can’t do it

Hello from the outside
At least I can say that I’m learning
To see life differently, accept a new start
But it don’t matter my mind is clearly at war

Hello, how are you?
It’s so typical of me to leave I’m sorry
I hope I’ll be well
Did you ever think you’d find me at a desk in Ottawa

It’s no secret that my web usage
Is all about flights

So hello from the other side
I must have moved a thousand times
But this time I’m staying put for a little while
And when I call it won’t be long distance
Hello from the outside
At least I can say that I’ve signed
A lease so don’t worry I won’t dart
But it don’t matter it clearly will take more than that

Ooooohh, Ecuador
Ooooohh, Singapore
Ooooohh, Labrador
Anywhere

Hello from the other side
I must have hauled a thousand signs
That led me to this side of the sun
But it’s ok my memories are a book of delight
Hello from the outside
At least I can say that I’m happy
To tell you I’ve started a new chapter
And it does matter I’m staying ashore

I’ve been MIA from the blog for a few weeks but don’t worry- life update coming soon!

Don’t worry about the tone of my Adele cover- I am happy and optimistic about the future. It’s just hard to write a happy Adele song amiright?

-Marielle

***You can find me performing at I-beam on Friday nights. Paparazzi- please keep it at a minimum, it’s been getting out of hand. Security-watch for the tall falang brunette.

Going back in time: An abandoned military headquarter

img_1168Soulless. This building’s ghostly presence atop a mountain separating Bosnia and Croatia brings you back in time. A time where the communist government of Yugoslavia existed. Broken glass, shattered bricks and furniture pieces meet the soles of your feet as you step inside. It looks as though a fire ravished the foundation and someone focused their anger on the furniture. 24 years of abandonment. Frozen in time of Yugoslavian conflict.

Buildings like these tell a story. Photographing them is so unique and interesting to me. I could’ve stayed here for hours.

Photos below.img_1169img_1175img_1171img_1172img_1179img_1181

-Marielle

Garden party

beet-leavesRaise your hand if you had a home garden this summer!

Every year, we are spoiled by what the earth gives us. Zucchinis, beets, parsley, tomatoes, kale, green onions…you name it! Credit goes to my mother and brother who prepare everything at the start of the season. I can only receive credit for occasional watering and lots of eating.

Did you know that home gardens help reduce your personal carbon footprint? By growing your own food, you are reducing CO2 emissions dramatically and avoiding harsh pesticides (among many other things).

Packed and frozen, we have lots of veggies to help us get through the winter. Can we all start praying this winter won’t be a brutal one?

I tried out a tabouleh/couscous recipe with parsley from our garden. Mmm mmm mmm delicious! Link for the recipe below. Check out pictures of our garden veggies too! beats

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The bean wall

long-green-beankaletomatotomatoesTabouleh.jpgparsleyTabouleh 2.jpgClick here if you’re interested in trying out the recipe! Tomatoes are usually added, but being that I’m a hater I opted out.

Cheers,

-Marielle