correcting my political ignorance.

Yesterday afternoon I participated in the Women’s March here in Toronto and last night I engaged in a political conversation thread on Facebook; two things I’ve never ever done before nor imagined I’d ever do.

Over the past few months I, like so many others, have felt anxious and afraid. While walking home on the evening of the US election back in November I was talking to a friend on the phone, expressing the overwhelming sense of doom I was feeling. He assured me that there was nothing to worry about, Hillary was going to win. We texted all evening as the results began coming in and when even his positivity dwindled I went to bed, wanting to delay the inevitable news until morning.

In the months since I’ve sat alone in my bed crying at things like Hillary’s concession speech, Obama’s farewell, Joe Biden’s presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony. I’ve read countless articles and op-eds, watched interviews and news reports in an attempt to understand what’s happened and why.

I’ve been forced to recognize that I live in a very liberal bubble. Quite frankly I like it that way, but if the last few months have taught me anything it is that this is a luxury no one can afford anymore.

On Friday morning, the day of Trump’s inauguration, I was taking the streetcar and overheard two men talking about how much Trump has already done for America and how smart and well-spoken Paul Ryan is. One of them went on to say “Thank God there’s not a woman going in there” (referring to Hillary and the White House). Overhearing that conversation I experienced a very visceral understanding of both blood boiling anger and the paralysis of being tongue tied. I got off the streetcar shortly after in a fog of rage wishing I could have thought of something intelligent to snap back at them with.

That conversation is also what made me reckon with the reality that we could experience the same hellish nightmare here in Canada if we’re not careful. With Kevin O’Leary having entered the race for Conservative Party leadership we could, as someone put it on Twitter, become the bad Canadian re-make of what’s happening in the US.

After yesterday I feel more empowered than ever to do what I can to participate in shaping a different outcome.

What exactly can I do? At this point I honestly don’t really know, but I’m ready to find out. This is the beginning of a new education for me. I’m committed to learning more about both the Canadian and international political landscape and the important issues at hand. I want to broaden my understanding so that, at the very least, I can ask more intelligent questions. I want to educate myself on what I can do to have an impact on the leaders in my community, province and country so that I can participate in taking action.

The Women’s March yesterday was a motivating step in the right direction. This week I’ll be attending a public lecture at Ryerson University called “What’s the Matter with America?” Thomas Frank, a well-known American author and political analyst explains Donald Trump’s election and what it means for the next four years. I very much welcome suggestions, information and wisdom on this so please comment below or reach out via email – heather@bestofher.com – I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in GETTING POLITICAL, INSPIRATION, ME | 2 Comments

ripping off the blogging Band-Aid

It’s been a while. A looong, very long while. I’d say life got busy but life is always busy. The truth is that writing and keeping up with this site hasn’t felt like a priority for  quite a while. So long in fact, that a few months back I was considering closing it down entirely. But then I never quite got around to that either and I’m glad I didn’t. So this is me, ripping off the proverbial Band-Aid and getting back at it!

The world feels like a pretty heavy place these days, so it doesn’t always feel quite right to be posting about things like home decor and handbags. But there’s also nothing wrong with a little lighthearted loveliness in the midst of all the serious news.

I’m slowly beginning to feel re-inspired and have been working on giving this space a bit of a facelift as well as brainstorming new content and services to offer.

For the last year or so my aim has been to incorporate more meaning and intention into my life; my goal is to do the same on here going forward.

I hope you’ll stay tuned and join me in discovering what’s to come!

If you’d like to subscribe and receive my posts via email, you can do so by scrolling all the way down to the bottom and entering your email address. You can also like Best of Her on Facebook to see new posts and updates in your newsfeed and you can follow me personally on Instagram (my favourite!) as well, @heathelizabeth
Posted in INSPIRATION, ME | 2 Comments

twenty fifteen adventures: lots of Budapest + a little bit of London

Budapest, Hungary, London, UK, England, London England, Britain

I had to sneak in a Euro trip late last year. It had been almost TWO YEARS and I couldn’t stand for it any longer. Plane tickets were book (and then changed!) and then changed again… then off I went! And it was wonderful :)

Check out my favourite pictures from Budapest and London HERE :)

Budapest totally captivated me. It is such a unique and completely beautiful city. The architecture is amazing, the history is endless and all the different parts of the city are so unique and individually interesting. The best part of the trip was getting to spend time with friends I hadn’t seen in a few years.

My time in London was short but jam packed, and I made a point of staying in a part of the city I never had before. The weather was… British. But warm enough (and without too much rain!) to walk around the whole time. I love exploring familiar cities all over again and finding new, beautiful parts to love.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL GALLERY!

Posted in INSPIRATION, LIFESTYLE, ME, PHOTOGRAPHY, TRAVEL | Leave a comment

the twelve days of… the wild rose herbal d-tox cleanse

My 2015 holiday eating lasted well into 2016 and I decided it was high time to hit the reset button. A friend highly recommended trying out the Wild Rose Herbal Detox cleanse; I read up a little bit and decided to go for it. I also decided it was time to take a wee break from social media, so I figured why not just cut that out too? And thus began 12 days of no sugar, gluten, dairy, booze, fermented foods, tropical fruits, mushrooms or… social media.

Here’s how it went:

NIGHT BEFORE: I made the most of my last night of food freedom at a big family birthday dinner… fresh pasta with pesto and bolognese sauce (and loads of Parmesan cheese), garlic bread, caesar salad  and amaaaaazing chocolate cake. I may or may not have had seconds of everything.

DAY 1: Day one of cleanse turns out to coincide with day one of my period. FUN. Don’t really crave stuff I can’t eat, but don’t think I’m eating enough. Feeling hungry later in the day, so it seemed like a good idea to make eggs before going to a two hour yoga workshop.

DAY 2: I miss the maple syrup in my overnight oats :( but I’m going to the spa for the entire afternoon so I’m in no position to complain today.

DAY 3: Back at work and bragging about feeling totally normal, but eating my words by mid-day. My head feels a bit bleh – not a headache really, but sort of?  After work I come home to my sister baking fresh bread, which is basically torture. But I manage to not eat any… YAY for me! Ate a baked sweet potato with two eggs and garlic chives – actually very yummy.

DAY 4: I miss bread. Also, I wish I wasn’t doing this no social media thing so I could snap chat about missing bread and make everyone suffer with me.

DAY 5: BAD from the get go. Downloaded and logged into Instagram to make a customer service complaint (seriously –  is this the only way to get anything done these days?). That worked out, after loads of frustration. Rushed out the door after eating a couple of eggs for breakfast (thank you sister!) and totally forgot to take my morning supplements.

DAY 6: Confession – I ate half of a cookie last night. OK, three quarters. It was a peanut butter cookie filled with Nutella. I regret nothing. ALSO, I have so many photos I wanna post on Instagram right now.

DAY 7: Hollandaise sauce is cleanse friendly – I’M SERIOUS. Egg yolks, butter (it’s allowed), lemon juice and cayenne pepper. This with some eggs and salad at breakfast feels like a victory. Fresh pressed green juice is a perfect midday pick me up.  My best cleanse meal yet is at a vegan place for dinner – soft shell tacos with guacamole and some sort of meat replacement made from cashews. Actually so delicious. It’s Saturday night, I’m going to a theater thing with food and wine pairings. No wine (or most of the food) for me! And later on I opt for water at a house party (I’m serious).

DAY 8: Worst day yet. Everybody is eating cheese and spiced pretzel bites RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME and it’s driving me insaaaane. It’s rice crackers and almond butter for me. I feel a massive headache coming on, so my mom to picks up more vegan tacos for me (what a gem). Food doesn’t come soon enough, headache is major. Advil helps. I really need to do some grocery shopping / meal prep.

DAY 9: YUMMY breakfast – oats and fruit.  I still miss the maple syrup. AND I REALLY WANT TO POST THINGS ON INSTAGRAM. WAHHH. Three more days to go.

DAY 10: I’m FOOD BORED. Hard boiled eggs are currently my best protein friend. I miss Sriratcha. And sugar. But I feel WAY better, less bloated, etc. However, the burger I had for dinner (on a lettuce bun…) was not terribly satisfying. (and I swear, Instagram is calling my name… I can hear it…….)

DAY 11: SO TEMPTED TO JUST BE DONE, two days early. It’s been 10 days! That’s an accomplishment, right!? BUT why give up now? Sticking with it for today and tomorrow, the cleanse and no social media, solely on principle.

DAY 12: Someone brought Tim Bits to work and it’s taking everything in me to not eat one (and by one, I obviously mean five).

THE DAY AFTER: I feel way better. Less bloated and bleh, less lethargic and less distracted! I’ve been eating WAY better and will continue to (I had oats and fruit for breakfast this morning even though I’m allowed other food again). My social media break has me feeling much less distracted. I’ve been listening to podcasts again and reading more frequently; I’m more focused at work and getting more done in the mornings before work too :) All in all, mission accomplished!

Posted in FOOD, LIFESTYLE, ME | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment