Ria goes to her First Ever Baby Shower!

Today I went to my first ever baby shower & it was a lot of fun! I don’t have a lot of friends in Toronto who have kids so I don’t really get invited to a ton of baby showers!

img_0346

The radiant mom to be and CAKE! OM NOM NOM!

It was a baby shower for one of the nicest, kindest souls that I have the pleasure of being friends with. Emily I love you so much and you are going to be an incredible mom!

I met Emily about 4.5 years ago now through twitter. She is a Toronto based jewelry designer and all around awesome lady! Check out her creations —> HERE <—

img_0345

It’s blurry but just LOOK at me having a really good time :p

img_0339

One of the many photo ops

Screen Shot 2016-09-26 at 12.03.18 AM.png

Up close and personal with the cake because that’s just how I roll! 

Straws

gaaaah how cute are these straws?

Cupcakes

baby shower favours!

Baby shower favours for everyone to take home – handmade soup that says from Ruby Shower to yours! How cute!

If you haven’t guessed by now, the theme of the shower was flamingoes and it is a girl! Congratulations Em and Alan! I can’t wait to meet your little bundle of joy and babysit her!

P.S: We played games and I actually won one of them! HUZZAH!

What’s up with Ria? Vacations and more…

There is a lot going on right now. I could go on and on forever but in short, life is happening at an unexpected pace.

I am trying to read as much as I can, as often as possible, but sometimes life gets in the way. My reading list has definitely become more interesting and diverse than I was expecting it to be.

Museum of Human Rights

Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg, Manitoba

We ( C & I) also took our first ever trip to Winnipeg! Which was a lot of fun. We met lots of family and got some well deserved down time – well as much downtime you can actually get on a vacation.

I feel like vacations exhaust me. I come back feeling really tired instead of recharged. Anyone else feel me?
We got back on Wednesday night, I worked from home on Thursday and have basically been watching Sex and the City movies to really relax. I feel like I might take a week long stay-cation at the end of the year.

Well that’s it from me for now. Chat soon.

FANGIRL – When a book gives you all of the feelings!

big deal alert
This post is part review and part me fangirling over FANGIRL!


I just finished reading FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell and it is giving me all of the feelings. I do read fiction but lately I haven’t been reading a ton because you know, “I am an adult and adults only read non fiction blah blah blah!

Also, I have read some pretty awful fiction and I have comparatively high standards when it comes to fiction. You don’t need to give me Harry Potter feels but I do need to feel like I am in the book—just give me one relatable character and I will be a happy camper. Sadly, not all fiction has the ability to do that.

A few weeks ago I was wandering around a second hand book store here in Toronto (Shout out to BMV!) during my lunch break, cause you know that’s how we should all spend lunch time. And I started thinking about the good old times when I used to read and sometimes write fiction.

Little known fact about me, I started writing Buffy and Spike fan fic when I was 13. No, I am not going to share links.

Summer always does this to me—it makes me want to read fiction; I know summer hasn’t started officially but you get my point.

So there I was—basically in heaven—wondering whether I should dabble in fiction, when this book appeared in front of me, in all its hardcover glory.

Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 1.48.58 AM

First Impressions

1. I thought it was going to be a sappy teenage love story, which to be honest I kind of enjoy. Takes me back… way back.

2. Was I ready to commit to a 437 page long work of fiction? Will I have the time?

3. Will I be able to relate to the characters?


After Reading

I am not going to write a plot summary on here but if you do want to find out what the book is about, please feel free to peruse Rainbow’s website!

But I will tell you this, the book chronicles twin sisters Cath and Wren’s first year at university.

Cath, our heroine, is a writer and prefers the company of fictional characters to IRL encounters. Whereas her identical twin Wren is the outgoing one. It involves boys, writing—lots of writing—coming to terms with who you are and learning to be comfortable in your own skin.

Honourable Mention: Levi—Cath’s boyfriend. OMFG Levi is only the most perfect boyfriend ever. Cath writes and he wants to hear everything. SO PERFECT! I CAN’T!

By the way, in case you are wondering, yes Cath Wren, Cath-Wren, CathWren… Catherine!
Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 2.02.26 AM

The first thing I did after I finished reading the book was to tweet about it because it was so freaking good! Honestly, I haven’t read something this good since Harry Potter and I really really hope—with all my heart—that Rainbow Rowell writes another book about Cath and Wren.

Who did I relate to more?

Sometimes I was Cath, sometimes I was Wren but mostly I was Cath.
In my first year at university though I was definitely Wren. Read the book and find out more about Wren and I guess find out more about me.

From page 1, I was hooked and read it in 3 days!

I felt like I was back in university again and could relate to everything. The fact that the book was about learning to be comfortable in your own skin made it all the more relatable.

I think that’s something a lot, if not all, of us struggle with even as adults. Easier said than done.

Has Rainbow written a universal coming of age story? Nope.
Did I love it? HELL YES!

Thank you for getting me hooked on to fiction again Rainbow! I can’t wait to read the rest of your books!

P.S: I am trying to read one book a week for June. Wish me luck! The first one I read was The Clasp by Sloan Crosley, had been trying to finish that one for a while! Next up is Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings.

Arranged Marriage and Sex

Today I heard something that made me cringe and I feel the need to share it.

Where do I even begin…

Where I come from, arranged marriage is the norm. Most people have their parents select a life partner for them and for many that works…

… or they make it work for themselves.

What I heard today was that it is alright to have your husband tie you up in order for him to consummate YOUR marriage even if you are in pain and don’t want to do it… cause you know obviously it is all about him!

gif no

This coming from a 20 something year old terrifies me even more.

Everyone I have known who has had an arranged marriage, has had a baby roughly 9 months after.

There is nothing wrong with having a baby and I am not bashing the idea of an arranged marriage, I know it works for some people.

I am neither for or against arranged marriage. I think it is a personal decision you need to make for yourself but you should definitely not be forced into it. Assuming that you are happily deciding to let your parents take the lead in finding a partner for you, I don’t want to comment on that or talk about it.

What I do want to talk about is SEX.

What was that? The collective sound of many people’s salwars getting in a bunch?

It is 2016 and we still can’t talk about sex.

It is not just about sex…

We are unable to talk about anything related to sex… puberty, sex education. Entire chapters in biology textbooks on sex are skipped because it is seen as something that is shameful and awkward.

…and then you get married and suddenly there is all this pressure to consummate your marriage and have a baby.

Sure, some people claim to get educated by porn, but tauba tauba we don’t watch that! (Sidenote: porn has it’s own problems – I am not entirely sure if that is where people should be getting their daily dose of sex education from.)

Ladies and gentlemen, it is never ok to be forced into sex, married, in a relationship or otherwise. THAT’S RAPE.

You’d think people would know that but many don’t.

If you think you need to have sex with someone just to appease them, even when you don’t want to… you don’t.
Consent is key but you can’t manipulate someone into giving consent either.

Mothers,  Fathers… please don’t force your daughters to consummate their marriage. Give them time and space. Educate them. Let them know it is ok to not want to have sex the day they marry someone.

Unfortunately, there are those who have been forced into having sex themselves but that does not mean we need to pass the same thinking down the generations.

Two wrongs don’t make a right.

Girls, know your rights. Don’t let someone force you.

Men, you don’t have to prove your masculinity by forcing a woman into having sex with you. You don’t have to prove anything.

For generations, we have been told that the wedding night sets the tone for the marriage.

YOU set the tone for your marriage.

Treat each other with love and respect. Forget what you have been told by people or the expectations set by others.

Other people don’t need to live your life – You do.

I suck at manifestos / Ria’s guide to happiness!

Mood: It is so freaking gloomy outside and I am currently a sugar monster who will eat anything sweet in her way. I know I did the How I Quit Sugar post but I am allowed sugar when my uterus is being stabbed from the inside. suga

I am jumping on a challenge bandwagon and blogging along with Jeff Goins on his 7 day blog like a pro challenge.

I have been a blogger – whatever that means  blogging since 2004 but have trouble doing it consistently because – let’s be real here – life gets in the way and I have to pay my bills.

The first assignment for the challenge is to create a manifesto. So here goes;

Thought process

Nothing really grinds my gears enough for me to complain / rant about it.

It hasn’t always been this way.

I used to complain all the time but I am generally really happy these days and nothing really bothers me anymore. Wait… I am either really happy or really bored.

Alright, does a manifesto really have to be angry? How about I write a happy manifesto? or a manifesto about happiness?

Ria’s guide to happiness or Happiness Manifesto

  1. Myth – you have to stop wanting more in order to be truly happy.
    LOL what a load of BS! you don’t have to strive for lesser to be happy. YOU DO YOU BOO! keep working on yourself, your life, your happiness and don’t settle….or settle if that makes YOU happy.
  2. Love yourself
    This is such generic advice but it happens to work.

    SO what does it even mean?Don’t blame yourself for everything that goes wrong.
    I get it, a lot of us hate our own bodies. Tell your body you love it and then focus on putting some nutritious shit into it and see magic happen.

  3. Invest in yourself
    I am not encouraging people to be materialistic – it can be an emotional investment. Take a stroll every day to just be with yourself.
  4. When life gives you lemons, don’t accept them cause lemonade isn’t on the menu today (OR EVER).I hate it when people want me to make freaking lemonade – I don’t even like lemonade.
  5. Don’t focus on making everyone like you
    Not everyone is going to like you. SO WHAT?
    This is one of the things that I had a lot of trouble coming to terms with because I wanted everyone to like me but that just made me unhappier.

That’s all folks!

 

3 Things I learnt about life in the early 20th century from “The Sun Also Rises” by Ernest Hemingway

hemingFinished reading Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises” & wanted to do a quick review! Here are 3 things that Hemingway taught me about life in the early 20th century.
1. People used to drink so damn much back in the day…
…no wonder so many had liver issues. HOLY!
2.Trust fund babies were everywhere!
No one in “The Sun Also Rises” had a stable job but they all seemed to have tons of money to spend. Trust funds rule!
3. If you were pretty, you could get by without spending a dime!
Everyone was in love with Lady Ashley including Lady Ashley. She worked her feminine wiles to her advantage but in the end couldn’t stand being a cougar and decided to go back to her former lover, whom she had cheated on with a 19 year old bullfighter. The man’s feelings were of little importance. She was going to smoothly flirt her way back into his life.😀 yay! After all, you should definitely use your God given talents! wheee!

With all due respect, I am not really sure if Hemingway is for me. I like the way he describes places but the characters lack depth or maybe the whole point was to portray shallow people?
Has anyone else on here read it? Would love your thoughts.

20 things I have learnt after a year of marriage

Today marks C’s and mine first wedding anniversary. A year ago today I couldn’t believe my sheer dumb luck that I was marrying someone I was head over heels in love with.
Here we are, a year later and I wanted to share 20 things I have learnt after being married for a year – with tons of input from C as well!

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 10.45.42 PM

  1. It is possible to love someone without losing yourself.
    I am madly in love with my husband and those closest to me know that. He is my raison d’être but each day that I fall more in love with him, I fall more in love with myself too.
    I feel like I am the most productive, successful and the happiest I have ever been in my life.
  2. To love someone else you have to love yourself first
    If you start with loving yourself first, you start by being in good place and it is only rainbows and sunshines and unicorns from there on! :p
  3. Love isn’t a competition
    When your relationship is a competition, that’s not love. Supporting each other is the shit.
  4. We are different people with different preferences but that doesn’t mean we have to fight.
    The goal is not to be one amorphous blob with similar likings and opinions! We have our differences and we love each other for them.
  5. You don’t have to fight to get closer to each other or to have a more interesting relationship.
    LOL. If I had a penny for every time I have read that fights bring people closer together, I’d be rolling in $$$!
  6. The passion doesn’t fizzle away after a while
    …neither is it something you have to work on like it is some kind of a household chore.
  7. Being married is the shit!
  8. There is nothing quite like having someone in your life who has always got your back!
  9. The happiness level of your relationship isn’t dependent on the size of the rock that you get for your engagement
    9 our of 10 times that I tell people that I am married, I am immediately asked to show my ring. LOL! I don’t get it. I don’t have an engagement ring. I wear a wedding band that C and I picked together. It is a dainty little gold band that cost us $99 and it is my favourite ring in the world!
  10. It is possible for your parents to love your significant other more than you :p
    Mum & Dad I am looking at you.
  11. When you find your person, you just know it
  12. There is such a thing as true love and soul mates
    Some might not agree but it happened to us. Oh the stories I could tell you…
  13. A year later and the same jokes are still funny
  14. You never get tired of telling your own love story
    People may get tired but not us!
  15. When you have someone who has got your back, everything in life is easy
  16. He gets sexier with each passing day. HOT DAMN!
  17. There is nothing I don’t love about him. He is smart, funny, caring and the best human being I have ever met in my life.
  18. I don’t like roses
    They die.
  19. In-laws are not scary beings you need to run away from
    Mine are the fuzziest!!!!
  20. Communication & Honesty are the keys to a happy relationship, a happy marriage and a HAPPY EVERYTHING!

This post has C’s stamp of approval!!!😀

Update: #goals, tattoos, MARKET and more

January whizzed by and February is threatening to do the same. It has been a busy albeit a productive year thus far!

Launched MARKET – Powered by RIGHTSLEEVE and got to chat with some brilliant marketing minds in Toronto. This will be a quarterly series and promises to be good. If you don’t know what I am talking about, click —> HERE <—
The feedback has been amazing so far and I am eternally grateful for that🙂

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 7.36.29 PM.png

All of my other goals that I had set up in January have gone down the crapper just due to the fact that I have been busy. SILLY RIA! This is why you set goals, remember. I know, I know. I ought to be more realistic. So starting this week here are my rejigged goals;

1. Do yoga once a week – So everything on top of that will be gravy!
2. Eat one home cooked meal a week.
3. Read one book a month – I tend to read a lot faster in the summer but start of the year is brutal for a reader.
4. Blog Once a Month – I think I can do it😉
5. Relax

What am I reading right now?

Still trying to finish “The Sun Also Rises” by Hemingway but also started reading an excellent book titled “Everybody Writes” by Ann Handley, which is about content marketing and for those of you who know me personally, know that I live and breathe marketing.

everybody writes.png
I don’t like sharing photos of my kindle because book pics look like crap on it. So here is one I found on Craft of Marketing.

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 12.13.49 AM
Here is a picture of my beautiful copy of The Sun Also Rises. I had to travel to Montreal to get my hands on this copy. True Story.

Achievement Unlocked 

Spoke at a Women in Tech event a week ago and I know this may not be a big deal for some but hey it was pretty fun for me so yay! go me! LOL
The most interesting part of the evening was that it made me more aware of my own privilege, which is awesome! Go mum! Go dad! and thank you for everything you have given me and done for me!

Local Products I am loving at the moment

I am going to give Inkbox, an organic tattoo, a whirl! Going to try it out this week and let you know how it goes! Check out their website for more! If you are so inclined, you can use the code #RSxMARKET for 15% off. I don’t get a cut from it but I just have a discount code so use it if you want!

What are you up to!?

Death, loss and coming to terms with it

Last year, we lost both my paternal grandpa to cancer and grandma to a stroke within two months of each other. I didn’t cry. I didn’t grieve.

I was too busy.

Too busy to take the time to mourn or celebrate the life of my grandparents.

I was working my ass off to make them proud, to live up to my family name and it didn’t even occur to me that I should take the day off to be with my parents and family because you know I am all about that #hustle (seriously wtf)

Then something happened last week.

David Bowie died.

People around the world took the time to talk about his passing and I felt like my beating heart had been ripped out of my chest.

I didn’t understand it at first. I love his music but I had never met this man in real life or seen him perform live but I felt so incredibly sad. For a week I walked around like a zombie, what was this feeling?

And then it dawned on me, I was finally, after a year, coming to terms with my grandparents passing. I was mourning the time I didn’t take to say goodbye to them and all the calls I missed when they wanted to talk to me because I was oh so god damned busy.

I am sad about Bowie but I am also grateful for the realization albeit late.

Rest in peace Bowie. I hope his family and loved ones find peace. Thank you for your music.

Bowie

starman

This whole week has been kind of rubbish to be honest. Found out on Monday that the world has lost Bowie only because C told me. I would have found out on social media but I was grateful that he told me. I have never met Bowie but I think we can all agree that his music transcended time and touched us all.
Was feeling pretty lost all week. It was a weird sort of feeling, you know when you have never met someone in real life but you feel a giant gaping hole in your chest nonetheless? Yeah that.
Found this list of Bowie’s top 100 books on DavidBowie.com and going to try to read them all this year to honour and remember him.
#RIPStarman #BowieBookClub