Future Female: Fall Issue 2018

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photo by

alix gou





W R I TE R S Naima Karp Lauren Mackay Kelly Zemnickis Emily Rzeznicki

WR I T E R I NTE R NS Amy Miller Krista Hovsepian Naqia Ahmed Cait Stewart Tabitha Wills

D E S I G N I NTE R NS Emily Richardson Virnell Walker

M E DI A I NTE R N Micah Domingo

C ONTR I BU TO R S Logan Dunn Portia Ella Shawna Patruno

I once had a vision to pursue a career path based on my education, to work for a big agency, striving for financial security, and a stable job to match. After internships, agency life, and dabbling in a variety of businesses, I found I wasn’t fulfilled like I thought I would be. I reflected on what lights my soul on fire, and it brought me back to my last year of college, where I devoted my thesis to sharing the stories of a handful of women who faced tough circumstances, and how their attitude shaped their lives as they rose above it. I was so proud to showcase these strong, beautiful, vulnerable women and after thinking about my time doing this, I realized I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself. I wanted to share with the world what impacts women daily, and to figure out together how we can help each other. Often intentions and goals come with setbacks and difficult challenges! But I’ve found that how you look at those challenges can make a huge difference in the outcome, which comes to what I believe this issue is all about. Yes, it’s about goals, dreams, intentions, and it also comes with perseverance and determination for what you believe in. Our feature interview, Chanile Vines, on page 54, has created multiple businesses in opposite spectrums to help create fun and provide meaningful awareness of an issue that is so close to her. It’s seeing the great impact of what happens when you stand for what you believe in, like the Queens from Medieval Times on page 42. It’s about never giving up on your mission like the founders of The Gist on page 36, where they share with you how they’ve created a platform for women who are avid sports fans, but who unfortunately don’t yet have a community where they feel they fit in. It’s about unapologetically climbing to the top and not making yourself small in the process.

SPE CI A L THA NK S Chanile Vines Hive + Hawk Hair Studio Kathleen Fitzjohn Lindsey Low Bee23 Beauty Prairie Girl Flowers Medieval Times Gals That Brunch

The Gist News Early Rain Studio KZ Permaculture Amy Jin Shanda Harper Photography Make Lemonade Co Dalia Dissanayake Nick Nikitaris

INTERESTED IN BEING A CONTRIBUTOR? contact sara@futurefemalemag.com


It takes action to create the life you love, even when it comes to finding new fun and easy ways to spice up your ponytail, like the ways the owners of Hive + Hawk Hair Studio show us on page 4. That vacation you’ve always dreamed of taking but don’t know where to start to make it happen? We’ve got you girl. On page 52 we share 20 ways to save for the vacation of your dreams, and even ways to fuel your wanderlust on a small budget.



The owners of Hive + Hawk Hair Studio share a variety of ways to make your morning hair fabulous beyond sporting a ponytail. BE E - I N G YOUR OW N BO SS



Michelle from Bee23 Beauty talks about her determination to carry out her all organic, natural bee-autiful line of skin care that won’t irritate your allergies or skin.



These easy delicious recipes by Contributor Logan Dunn from Lavendar & Lavish bring out the most festive fall vibes. FRI TATTA S A ND FRI E ND SH I P

Toronto’s own Gals That Brunch Ambassador gives us the scoop on why brunch is changing the game for connecting with women. TH E SE G I RL S G I VE YO U TH E G I S T




The founders of The Gist News talk about stepping up to the plate when it comes to creating a space for women who enjoy sports.








We meet the Queens at Medieval Times in Toronto who share with us the details on becoming the face of feminism.

Located in Calgary, Alberta - Prairie Girl Flowers brings us how her passion for floral arrangements and the array of flowers the earth has to offer got her turning her love into a flower truck.


Meet our feature Chanile Vines, who brings people together with wine networking gatherings and dementia awareness to caregivers in her upcoming app.

42 54

4 48


fabulous hair BEYOND THE PONYTAIL written by sara maginn pacella photography by kat leroux Every day we make decisions, and while we make many big ones, it often feels like it’s the little ones, like what to eat for breakfast, or what to do with your hair when it just won’t behave, that lead to decision fatigue. This is why so many of us reach for the bad hair day hat or a classic ponytail instead of taking a leap and trying something new. Sometimes all it takes is five minutes and a little innovation to turn that bad hair day into one that’s selfie-worthy. Bad Hair Days Be Gone! Michelle Chrisomeris and Tania Henriques, owners and stylists at Toronto’s own Hive and Hawk Hair Studio, have come to the rescue with five-minute bad hair day solutions that can bring your hair from bland to brilliant.


When your hair just isn’t sitting right, no matter the length or texture, consider moving your part to mix things up whether you want to wear it up or down.

THE CENTRE PART Place your finger (or the pointy end of a long handled “rattail comb”) in the middle of your forehead directly between your eyes and push back until you reach the crown of your head. Note: For those with a widow’s peak, line up the centre part with the end of your nose. For those with a double crown, tease the layer under the crown, the crown area, and then the layer on top to help keep the crown area closed and in place. Separate your hair with one section to the left of the centre and one section to the right, then comb out tangles using the other end of your comb. 4 | FUTUREFEMALEMAG.COM


Cover up and brighten up with a scarf in one of these fun styles.


Scarves and headbands are a good way to mix things up and add a bit of polish, no matter what the length of your hair. Consider adding a headband or scarf to push the front of your hair back and create some volume. The best part is that it takes practically no time to put them in your hair. Here are some simple suggestions on how to wear them to mix things up: 1. Add wire to a scarf to help give a ponytail or your bun a bit more structure and style. 2. Braid a thin scarf into your hair (divide into two braids) and then secure to the top of your hair with bobby pins for a glam look. 3. Twist and tie your scarf into a headband. 4. Run out of dry shampoo? No problem! Use a square scarf or bandana and fold it in half to create a triangle. Put the tip of the triangle on the top of your head facing forward, letting the other ends dangle around your neck. Take the long ends and tie them on top of your head and then tuck the knot and any loose fabric around the knotted area to smooth things out.

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If you have another three to four minutes to spare and medium to long hair, consider rocking your new part with one of these updos:

2 The Messy Bun

1. Tie your hair into a ponytail. If you want a high bun, secure the pony at the top of your head. For a lower one, move down. Don’t be afraid to play around with the height. 2. Twist your hair from the bottom up and then make a bun around the ponytail and hold in place with another hair elastic. 3. Pull out some small pieces of hair to create the messy look evenly from both the bottom and top of your bun to help keep it symmetrical. 4. Use bobby pins to provide structure and keep your messy bun in place. 5. Hair spray and walk away! FOLLOW THE HIVE + HAWK’S JOURNEY

@hiveandhawk FUTUREFEMALEMAG.COM | 5

Concealer at

Every Age written by: naqia ahmed


hile we may not always want to admit it, we can’t maintain our 20 something lifestyle in our 40s. That goes for eating, exercise, partying like it’s 1999, and our skincare and makeup routines. Concealer is an important part of this, since the skin around the eyes is very delicate and is often where the first signs of aging shows up. Not only do the products that we use change, but also the application. Spot cover up in your 20s might be great, but it doesn’t meet the needs of a sleep deprived mom in her 30s. Fortunately there are products and techniques that work at any age. All we need to do is embrace where we are in life and go with it.


Your 20s give you the luxury of having wrinkle-free, taut skin. Show it off! With the rise of social media makeup trends, too many girls are overdoing their makeup and covering up their natural glow. If you have breakouts or blemishes, you can opt to forego the foundation and use a full coverage concealer on any imperfections. A stick cover-up is great for this and can be used under the eyes as well to cover any dark circles. If you have drier skin, a cream concealer is another option. Place the concealer on the undereye, then pat down using your fingertips and gently blend. A light application of setting powder, and you’re done.


This is when your skin will start getting a little


drier, so eye cream should now be part of your daily routine. Sleep deprivation with a new baby or late nights at the office might be your norm, but it can be our little secret. Covering those dark circles can be easy by using a light-medium coverage liquid concealer. To keep things looking natural, apply concealer sparingly and layer if you need more coverage. After that a light veil of setting powder is all you need. If your skin happens to be dry, then skip the powder, especially in winter months. In your 30s keeping hydrated is key, if you’re over 35, leave the undereye ‘Baking’ for the kitchen. Your skin will thank you!


40 is a big deal - you’ve been there, done that, and might have a few fine lines. You’re older and wiser, but who says you look it! Illuminate the undereye area with a concealer to cover dark circles and diffuse any visible signs of aging. A brush tip liquid

concealer is ideal for applying from the inner corner, using less as you go outward. Pat and blend without pulling and tugging. Using loose setting powder all over your face will finish the look, without concentrating the powder under the eyes.


Skin changes continue after 50. With menopause, estrogen levels drop, and skin is prone to thinning, wrinkling, and dryness. You’ll want to make sure to hydrate the delicate undereye area. Be sure to concentrate on the inner corner of your eyes. Pat lightly, gently blend, and avoid the powder. At this age, less is definitely more!


bee-ing your own


written by kelly zemnickis photography by kat leroux

A couple of years ago, I began to notice that perfumes were really bothering me. Adding a dash of perfume to my wrists before heading out had become part of my routine, but headaches and a cough were also becoming part of my routine. A chance encounter with Michelle Rosetta changed that. I first met Michelle at her vintage inspired booth at a farmers’ market in Toronto. It caught my eye with its design, and the discovery that she sold natural perfumes and body care products piqued my interest. A former competitive equestrian rider, Michelle loves getting on her motorbike and travelling. She’s a cool gal who loves connecting with people. Over a recent coffee, I reminded Michelle about the day we met and how, as soon as I mentioned I had become allergic to perfumes, one of her kids appeared out of nowhere yelling, “Chemicals are BAD!” Michelle couldn’t stop laughing, as a big smile came across her face. “That was Nico! He’s my hard sell and he’s 11!!” Bee23 Natural Beauty came to life in 2007 soon after Michelle realized her favourite perfume was the culprit behind the severe headaches she had been living with. It took years for her to realize there was a connection. Most of us are hyper-aware of what we consume and what chemicals we use to clean our homes, but sometimes we lack an awareness of what we put on our skin. “It’s 2018 and there is still this idea that our skin will protect the bad stuff from going into our bodies. When we eat something it’s more apparent.” Michelle reminded me. “(But) we aren’t separate from our systems!” Bee23 offers natural skin care for face and body, as well as natural scents, and a line for pets! “I’ve always had a really simple routine”, Michelle says. “I grew up rurally. My grandmother used to make up concoctions for her horses and she’d use them on herself too! In the house things were very simple, even in terms of cleaning products.” The sauna was also a big part of her skin care routine, given her Finnish background; something I relate to, given my Eastern European roots. A sauna has always been my dad’s go-to for healthcare, and Michelle agrees. “I realize that that’s a major skincare regiment that I just took for granted… and it’s part of your social life, you go to someone’s house and sauna!” She also credits a book on natural skincare and facial exercises, Face Up by Dr. Gloria Klein, which her aunt would use religiously, for giving her a basis for what would eventually become Bee23. But the more she learned, Michelle took what she saw happening to the planet and what chemicals were doing to our bodies and began equating it with seeking solace in music and 8 | FUTUREFEMALEMAG.COM

how chords and notes create harmony. “With essential oils, you have notes, and this is so hippy, but I thought I could save the world with my own notes! It sounds so bad now, but I really believed it at the time!” Michelle has worked hard to bring harmony to an industry that is built on style over substance, offering products that are good for us inside and out, after years of trying to find face and body care products without preserving agents at her local drugstores. Balancing being a mom and making her work dreams come true, she’s proof that you really can excel with an idea and inspiration. And she’s breaking down the mold of what a successful female entrepreneur looks like. We don’t all wear suits and carry a briefcase. Sometimes your kids come to work with you. That linear pattern of success has been handed down to us decade after decade, and Michelle is proof you can go your own way. “It has never been about the money, but I had to make money. That part didn’t come naturally to me, my business plan was awesome, but my numbers were so off. That’s a big thing for women entrepreneurs, for creatives- you need to know your numbers!” When asked what her children think, Michelle says, “I’m just mom to them, but they love to remind me of how I always said at the start, ‘it’ll be fun! It’ll be an adventure!’” In 2017 Bee23 was invited to the Oscars as one of the merchants showcased in that dream-like gift suite you see on TV. Michelle was there to connect with those who live under layers of make-up and bright lights, all with her signature charm and vintage style. “I came here as a single parent. If I can come to Toronto, a single parent with kids and animals and a horse out on Airport Road, where I literally brought the farm out with me, and I can survive and then thrive, then anyone can! That’s the other thing for women - we do still tend to provide that caregiver role, whether it’s for older adults or family, or anything like that. We still can make it, we all come at things differently and that’s okay.“ I asked what her mom’s initial reaction to Bee23 was, and Michelle smiles. “I knew I could make it in Toronto because my mom took my product to her ladies out West”, Michelle confided. “If my mom likes it, I’m going to make it!” Michelle pauses before we go on our separate ways, remembering a recent interview she did. “[The host] said most of the successful women entrepreneurs he knows have successful male partners. Well, I don’t! I think that maybe it can be difficult to go it your own? But you can, and it’s really just putting one foot in front of the other. And knowing if you continue to do something… it’s going to work.“





written by kelly zemnickis

& soy

credit: natalia dworniak

Alright, I need to begin with a confession.

I was supposed to write a review of my favourite smoothie/protein powder. I had something in mind and it was ready to be written. And then something happened – I tripped on a walk home and had such a bad fall I asked my doctor if she could check my leg out. She did (and assessed I was going to be fine albeit VERY bruised), and while we spoke I told her that my period had been really wonky as of late. The month before last it was like the great flood, and this past month it lasted one day. One day. Given that I’m 40, the idea that I’m perimenopausal comes to mind a lot. She asked me a few questions, before asking if my diet had changed at all. “You know, sweet potatoes are very high in estrogen,” she reminded me. “You need to be careful about your consumption of those.” I love sweet potatoes, so the reminder was warranted. I’ll frequently make them or order them thinking it’s a healthier choice than regular fries. I left her office with the homework to chart my meals for the next three months. Yes, three months! But I also left with the assignment to avoid foods high in estrogen. She gave me a few ideas of what those things might be: thyme, sweet potatoes and chick peas. These are three things I eat ALL the time, within moderation, but they’re constants in my diet (thyme tea is SO good and great for digestion). So I went home and looked up what else I had to be on alert for, and I’m not gonna lie … I had a bit of a cry.

High Estrogen Levels Ahead

Sesame seeds, peas, dried fruits, lentils, turmeric, sage, thyme, sweet potatoes, olives, soy Knowing I had this piece to write, I looked at my bag of delicious protein powder, and sighed. It was filled with nearly everything I wasn’t supposed to eat. I couldn’t tell women to use this knowing what I suddenly knew about its ingredients. When I thought of how I and what I eat, I’m not at all surprised my estrogen levels might be too darn high. How was I to know?! Maybe other women also didn’t know! What could possibly happen to our systems with estrogen levels that are too high? Well, the site Women Working.com notes that “High levels of estrogen in the system are toxic and can lead to a condition called estrogen dominance. Since estrogen promotes growth, elevated levels have been linked to the development of cancerous tumors, especially in the breasts and the ovaries. Other health problems include: endometriosis, polycystic ovaries, hypothyroidism,


chronic fatigue, bloating and digestive issues, infertility, depression and various autoimmune issues.” Yikes. But Toronto-based Naturopathic Doctor Meghan Walker offers some sage advice. “Depending on how each woman processes estrogens, removing exogenous sources of estrogen, especially the forms found in plastics, can have effects within months. Avoiding artificial estrogens is the best way to begin to balance estrogen levels influenced by consumption.”

Other Ways To Combat High Estrogen Levels

Get enough sleep so your body produces enough melatonin! Be mindful of plastics and cosmetics – foods aren’t the only things that can affect our health. Keep your stress levels low as best you can. I try to “eat right,” I do my best to figure out what that is, and still my body acts up. My sister-in-law told me that when she was pregnant, her skin cleared up because of hormone rebalancing. “I had way more progesterone,” she confessed. “And I think my [estrogen] levels are normal now because of how I’m eating.” I have no plans on getting pregnant, but I am keen to get my body balanced out hormonally. So with no protein powders to recommend at the moment, what I CAN offer is something I created all by myself. If you’re in the same spot I’m in, and crave a delish smoothie some days, I hope this can help! It’s not going to add to my estrogen levels and it’s yummy, and it gives me a good boost when I need it. As for my own hormone levels, I’ll keep you posted. I have a few months of charting and chatting to do with my doctor. But I what I am strangely grateful for is that fall I took, which ultimately sent me in to have a chat with her. Because I never would have known the “good eats” in my cabinets were actually doing me more harm than good.

the kelly smoothie • Coconut Milk • Hemp Seeds • Spinach

• Mango • Blueberries • Honey

blend it all together & enjoy!

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5 WAYS to take a

MENTAL HEALTH BREAK written by: cait stewart


ental health is just as important as physical health, but too many of us don’t take the time to check in with ourselves until we’re burnt out. We need to be intentional about taking care of our mental health so that we can thrive. If you’re not sure how to take a mental health break, try one (or some) of the following options:




Most of us don’t exercise as much as we should. However, exercising is one of the quickest, and easiest ways to give yourself a mental health break. When you exercise your body releases endorphins, which make you feel happier. Exercising also gets you away from your electronic devices, and gets you moving, which helps your brain shut down and relax.



Volunteering is a great way to get out of your own head. When you volunteer you’re not thinking about yourself, but about someone else, bringing sweet relief from the constant hum of your own thoughts and worries. It also helps you build relationships with people in your community and can give you a sense of belonging and purpose.



Meditating is the current buzzword when it comes to mental health, but there’s a reason why - it works. Meditating teaches you to slow down your thoughts and be present in the moment. There are numerous apps available to help you learn how to meditate, such as Headspace and Calm. You can also find free meditations online.



Sometimes the daily grind can wear you down and leave you feeling low. One way to stop this from happening is to pick up a hobby or pursue a passion project. Whether it’s photography, baking, writing, creating music, or building furniture, do something you love that’s just for you. An activity based on the merit of enjoyment, with no agenda or deadlines, can help reduce stress and put a smile on your face.



While it sounds a bit cliché, positive thinking has been shown to help improve mental health. One of the easiest ways to change your negative thoughts to positive ones is to list three things that you’re grateful for. For example, if you’re having a tough day at work, you can be grateful that you have a job, and can pay your bills. If you’re stuck in traffic, you can be grateful that you have a car and don’t have to be out weathering the elements. When you pause to remember how good you have it, you force your brain to think in a new way, and that can give you a mental break and a positive boost. Your brain is a wondrous organ, but it needs time to relax. Make it a goal to try one of the above examples in order to get your mental health break routine started, and then enjoy the benefits of a positive relationship with your mental health. FUTUREFEMALEMAG.COM | 13


With the lazy days of summer behind us, it’s back to school and back to work for many, and what better way to meet your goals than to fuel your body with these nutritious, wholesome, and tasty recipes courtesy of LOGAN DUNN of the fantastic blog, LAVENDER AND LAVISH . FOLLOW LOGAN’S JOURNEY




2 cups whole wheat pastry flour 2 tsp. baking powder 1/4 tsp. baking soda 1 tbsp. cinnamon 1 tsp. nutmeg 1/8 tsp. allspice 1/8 tsp. cloves 1/4 tsp. ground ginger 1/8 tsp. cardamom 1/4 tsp. sea salt 2 tsp. maple syrup 1 apple diced very small 4 – 6 pecans, halved and chopped 4 tbsp. coconut oil, solid from being in the fridge 2/3 cup plain unsweetened almond milk 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar ALMOND MILK WASH 1/4 cup almond milk 1 tsp. cinnamon 1/4 tsp. nutmeg 1 tsp. maple syrup

NUT RIT IO N AL I N FOR M ATI O N Per 1 Scone Calories: 257 cal | Total Fat: 12g | Sat Fat: 9g | Unsat Fat: 0.5g | Carbohydrates: 31g | Natural Sugar: 8g | Fibre: 2g | Sodium: 109mg | Protein: 6.5g *Nutritional Information is for Glaze Recipe 1 with Coconut Sugar. 14 | FUTUREFEMALEMAG.COM

• • • •

Add very chilled, very firm coconut oil to the dry ingredients and cut in. You want the dry ingredients to form a crumbled texture with the coconut oil as this will give your scones their flakey layers! Once combined, add in the wet ingredients and form into a dough ball, ensuring that you do not work the dough too much to avoid melting the fats. Flour a work surface and smoosh the dough ball down to about 1 inch tall. Cut this smooshed dough ball into 8 equal scone slices. Put these scones into the FREEZER to chill for 10 minutes or while you prepare the almond milk wash. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

MILK WASH INSTRUCTIONS • Mix together the ingredients and brush over your chilled scones before placing them into your preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden on the outside.

GL AZE INSTRUCTIONS • Mix together dry ingredients and then slowly add in the apple cider until it forms a runny glaze texture. You do not want it too runny, or too thick! If you add too much liquid just compensate with protein powder 1 tbsp. at a time. • You will need more apple cider as the protein powder needs more liquid to become runny than the coconut sugar. Add 20 minutes prep, 10 minutes to chill, 30 minutes the melted coconut oil at the very end once bake. you are happy with the consistency of your glaze. • Once you make the glaze of your choice SCONE INSTRUCTIONS and you wait for your scones to fully cool, • Sift together the dry ingredients into a glaze those bad boys up & share them with large bowl and mix the wet ingredients in a your friends (or eat them all yourself)! separate bowl. APPLE CIDER PROTEIN GL AZE 2 tbsp. vanilla protein powder 1/4 cup coconut icing sugar, ground coconut sugar 3 tbsp. unsweetened apple cider 1 tsp. maple extract 2 tsp. cinnamon 1/4 tsp. nutmeg

I N GR EDI ENT S 1 cup quinoa 2 cups water 1/8 tsp. sea salt 2 medium apples, diced 2 tsp. maple syrup 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1/8 tsp. cardamom 1/4 tsp. nutmeg 1/8 tsp. allspice 1/8 tsp. cloves 1 tbsp. cinnamon 1 tsp. lemon juice 1 tbsp almond butter to top apple cider as needed (1 tbsp.)

• • • •


NUT RIT IO N AL I N FOR M ATI O N Calories: 269 cal | Total Fat: 4g | Sat Fat: 0g | Unsat Fat: 1g | Carbohydrates: 49g | Natural Sugar: 6g | Fibre: 5g | Sodium: 62mg | Protein: 7g

• • •

20-minute prep. Spiced Apple Compote Breakfast Quinoa Bring 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt to a boil on high heat. Add 1 cup of quinoa to the boiling water, reduce heat to medium and cover for 15-20 minutes. As this is simmering, dice 2 apples

finely and add to a pot on medium heat with 1 tsp. maple syrup, and 1 tsp. lemon juice. Cook this down for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add to the apple compote the sea salt, and apple pie spices. Mix thoroughly. Use unsweetened apple cider to deglaze the pan and allow the liquid to cook off. Turn heat off on the quinoa after 1520 minutes and allow to sit covered for 5 minutes. Once ready, mix 1 tsp. of maple syrup, 1 tsp. of vanilla extract, and 1 tbsp. of cinnamon into the cooked quinoa. Split this into 4 equal sized portions and mix together with the apple compote. Top your breakfast bowl with extra spiced apple compote and a tbsp. of almond butter.

Pro tip: make the quinoa the night before and quickly warm-up in the morning for a super quick morning treat.

credit: logan dunn

This granola is perfect for topping smoothies, protein shakes, coconut yogurt, or eating on its own.

IN GREDI E N T S 2 cups rolled oats 1 tbsp. hemp seeds 2 tbsp. crushed almonds 1 tbsp. chia seeds 2 tbsp. crushed hazelnuts 2 tbsp. cacao nibs 1 tbsp. desiccated coconut 1 banana, mashed 1 tsp. cinnamon 1/8 tsp. sea salt 1 tsp. vanilla extract 2 tbsp. almond butter 1 tbsp. cacao powder 1 tbsp. ground flax seeds 90g or 1 bar dark chocolate, chopped

• Mash the bananas and combine with vanilla extract and the almond butter. • Combine all the other ingredients, other than the dark chocolate, in a separate bowl. • Combine your dry ingredients with your wet, mix well to combine. DO NOT add the chocolate until after baking the granola. • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and bake the granola for 45 minutes or until crunchy and golden brown. • Stir the granola half way through baking for less granola bunches or leave alone for more clumps of oats (we prefer it this way). • Add in the dark chocolate after you’ve cooled the granola.

STEPS • 10 minutes prep, 45 minutes to bake.

The granola will last in a jar or other container for up to a week.

RECIPE Makes 8 servings

NU T R I T I O N AL I NFO R MAT I O N Per 1/4 cup granola Calories: 240 cal | Total Fat: 7g |Carbohydrates: 24g | Natural Sugar: 3g | Fibre: 6g | Sodium: 29mg | Protein: 7g


Practicing Minimalism Tips to Declutter, Carve Space, and Find Time in the Age of Things


written by lauren mackay photography by kat leroux

In this age of possessions and noise, it is common to feel overwhelmed. For several decades, people have considered the amassing of things as a marker of success. But things need people to manage them, and too often, we begin to drown in what we thought we wanted. Enter minimalism, a movement toward scaling back personal possessions that is based on values of environmental sustainability, peacefulness, utilitarianism, and intentional living. In addition to paring down physical things, minimalists seek simplicity of mind and pace of life, not looking to get more done, but instead how to have less to do. “Achieving a simpler way of life is within everyone’s reach, as long as you are open to creating a plan,” says Toronto personal organizer Lindsey Low. She describes herself as innately organized and has been from a young age, when her neighbours would hire her to help reorganize rooms in their homes. While a personal organizer has become a viable career option in recent years, it wasn’t really a choice over a decade ago and Low formally studied education. A mother to two young children, she has since returned to her roots, considering organizing as a hobby she gets paid for. If you are looking to declutter and simplify, Low suggests starting by creating a vision. Ideally, what does your space look like? Are you seeking more space and less to manage? Do you wish you had to spend less time tidying? Are you concerned with what you are sending to landfill? Are you spending more than you can afford on things you don’t need? Regardless of what your space currently looks like or how you are spending your time and money, once you define what your goals are, you can make changes that reflect your vision. A seasoned expert, Low suggests you move from your vision to a plan. “Once you have decided what you want to create, you need a place for everything and everything in its place. It is all about creating systems for your things, and to reduce the work necessary to manage them.”

Low’s Tips to Begin Decluttering Define an Area to Work On

You are better served defining a smaller area and completing it than choosing a massive project and stalling because you’re overwhelmed. If you can’t complete an entire room, start with a drawer. When you’re done, let the momentum of your success help you move onto larger projects.

Begin With an Unsentimental Space

If you find yourself challenged to let go of your things, choose the least sentimental area of your house to begin, maybe a bathroom. Don’t start going through long-held mementos or gifts from your aunt.

Remove Everything From the Space

Begin by taking everything out of the space and only put back what you need and use. Get rid of half used bars of soap and shampoo bottles with two uses left. Give yourself permission to let go of perfectly useful things if you aren’t using them. Pass them to someone else who can use them!

Find a Place for Everything

Once you’ve determined what you’ll keep, find a way to organize it that maximizes its use for you. If you take the time to find a place for everything, the next time you use it, you will know exactly where to find it and return it once you are done. This keeps usage easy and your space uncluttered. FUTUREFEMALEMAG.COM | 17

Determine Where The Items You Are Going To Let Go Of Will Go Some items simply can’t be passed on; they are no longer usable. Sort these things into recycling, compost, or landfill. Other items have lots of life left but aren’t being used by you. If you want to sell your possessions, try buy/sell sites like Kijiji. Another option is to consider people in your life who may need or want what you have. Or, seek out places where you can donate your things, so they will be put to good use instead of taking up space in your home.

Move Items You Have Decided To Part With Out Of Your Home Quickly

Once you go through all the work of determining what no longer serves you and where you would like it to go, move it out quickly. If you don’t, you run the risk of reintroducing the items back into your life and the whole process will be for naught. 18 | FUTUREFEMALEMAG.COM

Low’s Tips to Maintain Minimalism Stop Overbuying

It may seem economical to stock up on massive quantities of household items, but consider the cost of having huge amounts of things crowding your space, lost in the clutter or not getting used? The same goes for clothing, or anything else.

Purchase Intentionally & Never Buy In The Moment

Keep a list of what you need. Whatever you are running low on goes on the list. Shop only from your list. If it occurs to you to buy something that is not on your list, walk away, and reconsider. If time passes and you still would like to buy that item, return and purchase it knowing it will be used meaningfully.

Honour Sentimental or Beautiful Things

If you have possessions that you keep simply because they are beautiful or important to you, find a way to honour them. Use the china and linens. Burn the candles. Display the heirloom or work of art. It serves no purpose sitting in storage.

If You Live With Others, Make Sure Everyone Is On Board With The New System

Deciding you are going to tackle clutter in your home and life is no small task. It can only be effective if all members of the household buy into the process. Systems to manage the flow of things don’t need to be complicated but are necessary. For example, when you pick up the mail, open it instantly, recycle immediately, pay bills right away, deal with what you need to in the moment, and then move on. If everything has a place and each household member knows where it is, everyone can contribute to maintaining the simplicity and peace of the home.

If Something Comes In, Find Things To Go Out

When new items are introduced into your home, choose some things to go out. This includes gifts, free samples, stuff brought home from school, work, etc. Acknowledge that you are constantly managing a flow of usage and maintaining a balance in the moment. This will perpetuate the minimalistic approach you have worked for. Those who are taking up the practice of minimalism describe a freedom they have never felt before. Imagine facing a weekend where you don’t need to catch up on household cleaning because everything is already put away. Because that’s how it is all the time. There is a peace of mind that comes from knowing what you own and where it is. There is also an entirely new level of peace in knowing what you need. FOLLOW LINDSEY’S JOURNEY



BIG LIVES in Tiny Homes A LOOK AT THE GROWING TREND written by lauren mackay


inimalists, eco-advocates, the financially prudent, and even retirees are all a part of the growing tiny house trend. While tiny home living is certainly appealing for several reasons, the movement is still facing challenges. Governmental change, specifically pertaining to zoning and regulatory matters, can be painfully slow, sometimes placing tiny home owners in a predicament, struggling to define for the government what their dwelling should be called. And yet, the people who choose to follow this path are so invested in the lifestyle, many are willing to take up inadvertent advocacy roles, to live the way they choose, allowing for others to have the freedom to decide how they might like to live in the future. At between 100-300 square feet, the typical tiny home is incredibly small by North American standards - even more reason why they rely on impeccable design and ingenuity. While the reasons one seeks out a tiny home are as varied as the owners, there are commonly a few different groups who are interested. The minimalists are a growing demographic of people who know that the accumulation of material possessions isn’t what makes them happy. They seek to limit what they amass, or to downsize when their possessions are


getting too cumbersome. A tiny home limits what one can spatially possess and fits into the minimalist ideal to live free of the burden of excessive management of things. Other proponents of tiny homes are people to who favour financial responsibility. They want to pay for everything they own out of pocket, including their home. They perceive the tiny home as desirable because they can afford it without taking on any debt. People whose primary desire in a tiny home is earth care are also heavily drawn to the movement. They are seeking what permaculturalist Kenton Zerbin calls “food, home and community solutions with a smaller footprint,� and the movement needs them. Zerbin is a passionate educator, who was called in the direction of his work via the public school system in Edmonton. Growing to question the system and a perceived lack of content, he found himself leading permaculture talks during his lunch hour. Eventually, he recognized the pull toward permaculture, relying on renewable resources and a self-sustaining eco-system was what he wanted to pursue, and he set about etraining, first in Australia, then in various locales across Canada. He travelled to Barbados to help develop curriculum and

set up a permaculture school there, too. Years later, and back in the Edmonton area he has since set up KZ Permaculture, a consultancy specializing in permaculture solutions, advocacy and education. He and his partner also designed and built the tiny house they have lived in for the last year and a half, and blogged about the process (edmontiny). “It took a solid 8 months to research how to build the house and another 8 months to build it,” says Zerbin, “but the community that surrounds each tiny home is amazing.” He’s referring to the dozens of tradespeople, friends, and neighbours who all play a part in the creation and construction of each unique home, ultimately co-creating a further community.There are few people better equipped to help others navigate the tiny home journey, and Zerbin developed and offers an intensive two-day workshop to help others embark on their own projects. The course covers design and construction as well as what Zerbin calls the “living systems”: heating, water, energy and waste options, which are different in less forgiving climates. He also touches upon ways in which to navigate the legalities of owning a tiny home, given that most Canadian municipalities have yet to define what this really means. As the movement has only really started to take off in recent years, there is much advocacy work to be done by those interested in this life. It certainly isn’t for everyone, but “diversity in housing is important, just as it is in everything. We need diversity. Additionally, if we all make changes to ourselves and our own lives, we really begin to see the ripple.” PHOTOS BY CHRIS AT EARLYRAIN STUDIO PHOTOGRAPHY



visit kzpermaculture.ca


Seed Cycling HOW TO CREATE A PERIOD THAT DOESNT SUCK written by tabitha wills photography by tabitha wills


e’ve all been there. The sneak-attack cramps. The painful periods. The need to eat everything in sight and cry at every single commercial on YouTube (darn commercials).‘Ugh, damn hormones’ - we say and shrug it off. Because we’re women and that’s what we’re taught to do. What if there was a better way to address the underlying cause? These symptoms don’t just appear because we’re women. There are plenty of women worldwide who never have to deal with any of these symptoms. And no, it’s not because the world is unfair and you’re the unlucky one. It’s because we have the power to make the change. Let’s step back for a moment and dig into a women’s cycle and what’s happening in the first place. Our menstrual cycle has two main phases: the follicular phase, which begins on day one of menstruation; and the luteal phase, which starts after ovulation (and ends with menstruation). In your follicular phase, your estrogen levels are rising, creating growth in your body, preparing for potential pregnancy. In the luteal phase, estrogen levels drop and progesterone levels climb to prepare for a fertilized egg to be attached to the uterine lining. If not attached, it sheds, leading to our period. In a perfect world, each phase lasts 14 days (creating a 28-day cycle), but it doesn’t always happen this way for many reasons - things like stress, eating habits, exercise habits, trauma, and where you live will all affect your cycle. It will affect everyone differently, and that’s ok! But we can certainly get our hormones back to working with us, instead of against us, by using the seed cycling method.

symptoms. The key to seed cycling is using two seeds, at the same time, on a daily basis. You’ll want to ensure you’re tracking your period so you can understand where you’re at in your cycle. Keep in mind, if you’re on hormonal birth control, while this can’t hurt, it may not be as effective since the hormones in the pill are creating false menstruation (for more information on this, consult your natural health practitioner*). *This article and recipes are not meant as professional diagnosis or treatment.

Follicular Phase The follicular phase is when estrogen is slowly and steadily rising. It starts with the first bleeding day of your period and lasts roughly 14 days until ovulation. When estrogen increases, so does the luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). Both LH and FSH spike during ovulation, however this only happens with the proper balance of estrogen and progesterone, which is where seed cycling comes in. During our follicular phase, we want to use seeds that support estrogen building. By supplementing with seeds that contain phytoestrogens, we can do just that. Phytoestrogens mean that the seed is high in plant estrogens, meaning they help support estrogen levels based on what the body needs.

The beauty of using seeds to help our cycles, and correct symptoms of irregular hormones or periods, is that it’s accessible and affordable. We’re looking at seeds, which unlike nuts, are much more affordable. Also - we’re not talking about expensive pharmaceutical products, we’re talking about real, whole foods to make it right! How do we do this? Let’s dive in!

If we need higher estrogen levels, they will help us build those. Likewise, if our estrogen levels are too high, they’ll bind to and remove excess estrogen in the body. The seeds that have the proper phytoestrogens to support your follicular phase best are flax seeds and pumpkin seeds. Flax is high in lignans, which block excess estrogen receptors, while pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc which helps prepare the body for progesterone secretion (working to prepare for our luteal phase).

Cycling with seeds uses the naturally occurring oils and micronutrients in the seed to balance your cycle and help

Start consuming these seeds on day one of your period and continue for 14 days, unless you know your day of


ovulation (an at-home basal body temperature reading will confirm this). Stop on your first day of ovulation. Luteal Phase Your luteal phase begins with ovulation and continues through the latter half of your cycle. It starts with the sudden drop of both FSH and LH and a steady rise in progesterone. At this point in your cycle, your uterine lining is thickening, getting ready for egg implantation. This is also the same time that PMS can rear its ugly head. A time when many classic PMS symptoms arise, like cramping, anxiety, sugar cravings, fatigue, headaches … I could go on… It’s important to note the balance between estrogen and progesterone fluctuations is vital at this point in your cycle. There needs to be enough progesterone production to sustain a fertilized egg implantation, which in turn means a pregnancy. Likewise, if estrogen is too high, it combats the progesterone which leads to all those nasty symptoms (and inability to support a pregnancy). The seeds we want to focus on in our luteal phase are sesame seeds and sunflower seeds. Sesame seeds are high in lignans, which help balance estrogen and progesterone. Sunflower seeds are high in selenium. Selenium supports liver function, which allows your body to clear excess hormones. Additionally, both seeds are high in Omega 6. This fatty acid converts to gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which in turn supports progesterone levels. With all that science-y stuff out of the way, let’s talk about the fun part: eating! I like to get these seeds into my diet in several ways - adding to salads, smoothies, and wraps, but another favourite way is with my seed cycling balls. They’re super tasty and very quick to whip up. They have a great balance between healthy fats, lots of fibre, and a slight sweetness to them that makes them a great snack in the morning or afternoon. One of the greatest things about these seed cycling balls is that we are forced to chew. Oftentimes, putting things into smoothies removes the need to chew, which means we aren’t starting the digestion cycle from the beginning. Chewing releases enzymes that help us break down all the foods we’re putting into our mouth. When possible, focus on organic seeds. Always purchase raw, unroasted seeds so that you aren’t including unnecessary ingredients. To keep the fats in the seeds healthy and thriving, store them in your fridge or freezer. Another note- be patient. Change never happens overnight, especially when we’re talking about something as vital yet fragile as our cycles. Give yourself three to four cycles before you start to notice changes and track your periods to ensure you’re observing changes from month to month.

FOLLICULAR SEED CYCLING BALLS Use these when your period first appears. Make one batch per week and switch over after two weeks, or once ovulation has started. TIME TO PREPARE 5-7 minutes Yield: 7 balls (1 inch in diameter) INGREDIENTS ¼ cup organic peanut butter (or other nut butter) 1 tbsp. maple syrup ¼ cup pumpkin seeds 2 ½ tbsp. ground flax ¼ cup oats ½ tbsp. hemp hearts 1 tbsp. Unsweetened Dark Chocolate (swap for dried cranberries or raisins if you don’t have on hand) 1 tsp. cinnamon 1 tbsp. water Pinch of sea salt DIRECTIONS 1. Place all ingredients in a small to medium sized mixing bowl and mix with spoon until well combined. 2. Wet hands slightly and roll mixture into balls (roughly 1 inch in diameter). 3. Enjoy! Keep in the fridge for one week … if they last that long!

LUTEAL SEED CYCLING BALLS Use these when you start ovulating. Make one batch per week and switch over after two weeks, or once your period arrives. TIME TO PREPARE 5-7 minutes YIELD 7 balls (1 inch in diameter) INGREDIENTS ¼ cup organic peanut butter (or other nut butter) 1 tbsp. maple syrup ¼ cup black sesame seeds ¼ cup sunflower seeds ¼ cup oats ½ tbsp. chia seeds ½ tbsp. tahini (or put additional peanut butter in) 1 tbsp. unsweetened dark chocolate (swap for dried cranberries or raisins if you don’t have on hand) 1 tsp. cinnamon Pinch of sea salt DIRECTIONS 1. Place all ingredients in a small to medium sized mixing bowl and mix with spoon until well combined. 2. Wet hands slightly and roll mixture into balls (roughly 1 inch in diameter). 3. Enjoy! Keep in the fridge for one week … if they last that long!


@tabithalavoie FUTUREFEMALEMAG.COM | 23

written by sara maginn pacella


n most futurebased movies and TV shows, people are wearing some form of a uniform in place of unique, personalized fashion. Famously successful people like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg both incorporated a standard issue outfit they’d wear every day to save them the time associated with ensemble selection. As admirable as this is, many of us enjoy shopping, and probably want a little more variety. Most bosses would be unimpressed if we wore a grey t-shirt,black turtleneck,or hoodie every,single day. Enter the capsule wardrobe a way of dressing that can take the stress out of not knowing what to wear out of your day-to-day life. It lso allows for people who love to shop, to do so less often, but with purpose, and avoid staring into a closet filled with clothes that never get worn. Most people think of the capsule wardrobe as a new trend, thanks to Pinterest. However, the term was first coined in the 1970s by Susie Faux, the owner of a London boutique called “Wardrobe.” Faux defined the capsule wardrobe as “a collection of a few essential (and versatile) items of clothing that don’t go out of fashion, such as skirts, trousers, and coats, which can then be augmented with seasonal pieces.” Interested in trying your own capsule wardrobe? You don’t need to be a stylist to get started, and you may have a number of key pieces already in your wardrobe to build on. This is a great way to clear out the clothes you don’t wear, and the hopeless feeling of having nothing to wear, despite owning a lot of clothes. Here are some tips for working towards your very own capsule wardrobe that is both fun and functional. The big question is, what are you going to do with the extra time in your schedule each morning?




Look at your wardrobe with a really critical eye. When was the last time you wore those jeans? Are you really going to repair that broken shoe that’s been sitting on your shelf for six months? The longer it’s been sitting there, the less likely you are to use it. For everyday clothes and shoes, if you haven’t worn them for six months to a year, get rid of them. Anything you don’t like, even if it was a gift, pass it along to someone who is actually going to wear it. Lukewarm on something? Set it aside and see how often you really wear it before making a final call. Anything brand name, near new, or still with tags on it you may want to consider selling online (this will help give you


some extra dough to build your new wardrobe).


So many of us are trying to let go of emotional spending, and holding onto things “just because.” Love your prom dress? Frame the photo of you in it, and move on. Since so many of us shop based on what we think we might want, or a latest trend, we end up with a mishmash of clothes that don’t coordinate together well. Then we’re back at the drawing board when it comes to figuring


out what to wear day-to-day, or what in the heck our personal style is.


Odds are there are a few items in your wardrobe that are your “go-to” items. Figure out what they have in common and use them as your baseline for creating your new wardrobe. Joy has been working with a capsule wardrobe since she was just 14 years old, when she was encouraged by her mother to complete an inventory of her clothing each season, and then was given a budget to get what she needed to complete it. Joy says, “I never got out of that habit. Today, I don’t write down what I’m looking for, but I have it in my head, so when I go shopping I’m not just looking for everything,

I have something very specific in mind and it makes it easier to find what I need.”



Perhaps it’s shoes, not our eyes, that are the windows to our souls. A study by The University of Kansas found, “shoes convey a thin but useful slice of information about their wearers.” The study determined that extroverts like bright-coloured and flashier kicks, while conscientious people like to keep their footwear as clean as a whistle. That, along with your personal taste and orthotic needs, might be a good place to get started on your wardrobe. Pick shoes that will work with the season, your needs, and your personal taste. Many women like to have nine pairs of shoes in rotation in their wardrobe – three pairs of flats, three pairs of boots, and three pairs of heels (replacing the boots with sandals in warmer months). Other items you can build your “look” around can include a great pair of glasses, sunglasses, hat, or scarf to add a pop of colour and personality.



Some people like to start their capsule wardrobe using the rule of three for specific items, like jeans for example: one pair for comfort and, one to make a statement, then another somewhere in between the two extremes. Also give some thought towards your lifestyle and career. If you’re a personal trainer, you’re probably not going to need three pairs of dress pants, but you’ll need a lot more than three pairs of leggings or workout pants. Other items, like jean jackets, blazers, neutral-coloured cardigans, or a casual adirondack jacket, can be used for multiple seasons. A tank top can be worn in the winter,


provided you pair it with the right blazer or cardigan.


Not every item you pick is going to be a gem and make it into your regular rotation, but if this is just one item or so per season, and you’re running on a two-to-three season capsule wardrobe, there’s still going to be a lot less waste than the spoils from impulse BOGO shopping pre-capsule. This is going to take some trial and error. Figuring out what’s going to work and streamlining it is a fun part of the process. Joy says, “One year, I bought a lot of linen and then found because I like my clothes with a neat straight line I was spending way too much time ironing. So it didn’t work for me. If you travel a lot, you’re going to want to look for clothes that travel well and are easy to care for on the road.” When I began working on my first capsule wardrobe last spring, chambray shirts were everywhere, and I bought one thinking it would really tie things together for my look, but it just wasn’t happening and it remained at the bottom of my drawer. To figure out what works and what items are truly “you,” you’re going to need to test drive some lemons.


thing to keep up to date.” She also loves to mix up her look saying, “Last year I worked with stone and metallics, and this year


I’m working with black and white and pops of a deep raspberry.”


I love shopping, but don’t love spending money on stuff I only wear twice. Sites like Pinterest and blogs from people you like can serve as an amazing inspiration to build your wardrobe – just search capsule wardrobe and the season you’re planning for. You can even search by preppy, funky, curvy and, sporty, to help get some ideas on what will suit your own needs and style. Don’t be shy to ask someone in your life where they got that great hat. Shop vintage to find nearly new designer clothes,


or funky vintage items that you won’t find at the local mall.


Investment pieces are items we spend more on because we know we’ll wear them all the time. Even though they may have a hefty price tag, the hope is that you’ll wear them so often that over time they cost just dollars or cents every time you wear them. New York- based clothing store Universal Standard (https://www.universalstandard.com/) offers online shopping, and a bigger price tag at the onset, but at a wide range of sizes (six to 32). They have a special motto to help out consumers who tend to fluctuate in size. Their promise to customers is that, “When your size changes, we change with you. If a piece from our core collection no longer fits you within a year of purchase, due to size fluctuation, we’ll replace it with your new size – for free. No more shopping anxiety, no more delayed gratification.” Harper’s Bizarre released a list of 15 classic fashion pieces every woman should own, that featured items like: a white button down shirt, trench coat, leather handbag, little black dress, jeans, pant suit, white sneakers, and leather jacket. Remember, even investment pieces wear out, so don’t break the bank thinking that a $1,000 handbag is going to change your life. The $50 one will also work.



Convertible pieces aren’t just great for people who are travelling and want to conserve space. Companies like Encircled (https://www.encircled.ca/) run their brand on convertible clothes and their website boasts, “All of our garments are designed to fill a clear purpose in your wardrobe. Our collection offers both seasonless, well-made basics and versatile, multi-way transformative designs.” Companies that use one item of clothing with the ability to transform it into many different looks are a fashion-forward and sustainable way to look at the way we dress ourselves, freeing up time for more important things than looking into a full closet and paradoxically having nothing to wear.

It’s all part of the process.


Never underestimate the power of a hat, vintage scarf or statement jewelry to help increase the versatility and wearability of your wardrobe. Favour rock t-shirts to button down shirts? Those can be three of the items in your rotation. You are the boss of your own capsule! Joy says what she loves most about capsules is how, “It’s cheaper in the long run because you know what you need and you buy the odd trendy


20 little things you can do that add up to a

greener planet

written by naima karp You may think that being eco-friendly is as simple as not littering or putting out your recycling each week. But there are other small things you can do that add up to make a much bigger difference – things we don’t think of daily because society doesn’t make them a priority. Here’s how you can do your part for planet earth, without big sacrifices. 1. Stop using plastic bags and invest in reusable cloth totes. Use them whenever you go shopping. 2. Instead of tossing leftovers from your meal into the trash save the bones and veggie scraps in the freezer as a base for soup broth. When you throw out good food, you’re wasting energy and creating a bigger carbon footprint. 3. Start composting. While some trash is inevitable you can reduce the amount of solid waste you produce by composting egg shells, food scraps, or coffee grounds. Compost makes a fantastic natural fertilizer for your garden. 4. Eat less meat. Try to go vegetarian at least twice a week. Not only is this a healthy lifestyle change, but animal products are very energy intensive. 5. Switch your commute from driving to biking or walking, or public transit whenever possible. Of course, for longer distances this may not be realistic, but carbon emissions are a big reason for pollution, energy overuse, and environmental problems. A hybrid or fuel-efficient car is also an alternative for those willing to spend more on a vehicle. 6. Switch to menstrual cups. Pads and tampons might be more convenient, but their disposal really adds up. Cups are made from silicon which degrades into non-hazardous silica. Flush fewer feminine hygiene products and prevent landfills from piling up. Plus, it’ll save you money each month. 7. Don’t leave the water on unnecessarily, like when brushing your teeth. Fix that leak in your sink or toilet. Take fewer baths and more showers, or if you only shower, try to keep it under 15 minutes. 8. Switch your lightbulbs. Compact fluorescent bulbs last 10 times longer than the standard option and use two-thirds less energy. Energy Star products are fantastic to investigate and can help you save money on utility bills along with reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 9. Shop virtually instead of buying from brick and mortar retail. Buying online promotes less energy use, places fewer cars on the


credit: sylvie tittel

road, cuts out the middle-man of retail stores, creating delivery direct from a warehouse to your home. 10. Buy items with packaging made from recycled items, and loose fruit and veggies instead of ones wrapped in plastic. Look for cereals in bags instead of a bag and a box. Check labels to see if an item is made with recycled materials and remember to recycle it again when you’re done! 11. Say goodbye to single-use plastic wrap and replace it with glass jars and other multiple use containers. They’re reusable, less wasteful, and an ongoing trend for the past few years, anyway! 12. Wash out glass and plastic peanut butter and pickle jars rather than tossing them. They can be reused for storing bulk goods. The number on the bottom of the container should indicate wherever it’s safe for reuse with food products, or if it contains toxins. 13. Grow your own food and work that green thumb. Growing at home reduces the use of fossil fuels from transport, along with air and water pollution. Save yourself and the planet from gross pesticides and herbicides. 14. Support local food sources by shopping at nearby farmers’ markets. Frequent local farm to table restaurants. There are even online farmers’ markets where you can choose vegetables and fruits you want to buy and see exactly where they’re coming from. 15. Switch to eco-friendly cleaning products. While cleaners like bleach and chemicals get your kitchen sparkling clean and are tempting to use, they contain a lot of indoor pollutants that don’t just harm your heath, but the environment as well. Take it one step further by making your own at home and using one of the many online recipes available. 16. Invest in eco-friendly makeup and makeup container recycling programs. 17. Buy used books and furniture when you can. What’s better than a vintage book to enjoy, or saving some money? 18. Invest in a BPA free water bottle. People can buy up to millions of disposable water bottles, and while its convenient, easy, and tempting, the plastic waste it creates is astounding. Remember to carry it with you! 19. Hot water isn’t the only way to get things clean. Buy a detergent that’s compatible with cold water and wash your clothes with that icy H2O instead of energy sucking hot water. 20. Instead of turning your thermostat up all the way (or cranking up the AC), try layering clothes, turning on some heaters, investing in a cozy blanket or opening some windows. We don’t suggest turning heat all the way off but remember there are other energy efficient ways to get the temperature just right.

A Revamped Self-care Routine for a Truly Radiant Self written by portia ella


ou know the feeling you get right after shaking someone’s hand for the first time? You know right there and then whether this is someone that will be good for you. We shake things off, give high fives (or a finger). Our hands are filled with palpable energy capable of expressing more than words, even in our self-care routine. You wake up in the morning, take a close look at yourself. Come bedtime, you take another close look, two inches away from the mirror, inspecting every centimeter of your face. You analyze and criticize. You judge yourself hard with no common sense coming to the rescue, and with all that energy going through your hands you SPLASH your face ‘clean’. In your face!! We do this at the start of our day, and at the end of our day. This routine could really use a makeover! So, here is a revamped self-care routine for a truly radiant self.

you mix your cleanser between your hands, repeat to yourself how 1 Asgrateful you are that your skin is doing everything in its power to protect you.

your face clean, as you remind yourself of all the outside pollut2 Massage ants, dirt, and UV your skin has protected you from today. Smile and say ‘thank you’ while rinsing your face with a soft cloth.

your moisturizer with a light pressure on your jaw starting at the 3 Apply chin up to the joint and remember how much you talked, smiled, and

clenched today. Allow your jaw to relax while thanking it for all the work it did for you. Slide all the way to your cheeks and nose.

in between your eyebrows, apply a gentle pressure in an upward 4 Starting curve followed by a zigzag massage of your forehead. Your day was filled

with so many feelings and different emotions - realize how strong you are and remind yourself thatyou are loved.

with a soft massage on your temples and set or reset your mind, 5 Finish ready for what’s coming next. You got this!! “Portia-Ella is redefining beauty through ethical and sustainable standards. Shop 100% Canadian, Cruelty-Free, Vegan, Organic and Non-Toxic beauty products. Better for you and better for the planet!”

Remember that your lipstick isn’t going to make you beautiful, but the relationship you have with it portrays your relationship with yourself. You are expressing YOU, and that is beautiful. The products you choose in your beauty routine are not there to correct you, rather they are there to support the relationship you have with yourself.


@portia_ella www.portia-ella.ca FUTUREFEMALEMAG.COM | 27


Frittatas & Friendship S E RV E D UP W I T H

Gals That Brunch SIX EDITION written by sara maginn pacella photography by amy jin It’s hard to believe, but it’s been 20 years since Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda first dished about love, conquests and careers on the highly beloved HBO series Sex and the City. Today, brunch is a trademark symbol of friendship as people come together to break bread (or French toast, as the case may be), commiserate, support and celebrate each other. Those living in a big city, whether it’s New York or Toronto, know how difficult it can be to meet new people, and that’s where Gals That Brunch (https://www.galsthatbrunch.com/toronto-brunch-chapter) comes in. Gals That Brunch is an international movement with 55 Chapters around the world that work to create spaces for women to meet, all while enjoying the best brunch their city has to offer. Toronto is Canada’s very first chapter of Gals That Brunch, hosting their inaugural monthly brunch this summer. With a mission to “create a positive, authentic and empowering atmosphere where women can connect with each other and find community within their city,” the Six’s chapter City Leader of Gals That Brunch, Sharana Ali, is up to the task of connecting the women of Toronto, one brunch at a time. Making new friends as we get older is challenging. How does Gals That Brunch work to help people continue to make connections, particularly in a big city like Toronto? Gals That Brunch started for this reason. Tiffany, who started the first chapter of Gals That Brunch, was moving from city to city and was trying to make friends outside of her professional life and saw a distinct need. I make a point to make people feel welcome from when they first email me to get information about a brunch or buy a ticket. They immediately become a part of our community, and become a part of our email distribution list, which is essentially a

personalized weekly pep talk. None of our brunches in Toronto have an agenda, it’s just about coming out, enjoying your meal and making new connections in an atmosphere that is both low key and personal. Why is brunch a better time to connect, as opposed to dinner or drinks? For one, I think the food is better at brunch. Food evokes a sense of community, creating a connection not just through conversation, but with all of your senses. With brunch, you’re enjoying a more casual meal than you would be when meeting for dinner or drinks. There’s greater opportunity to have more organic conversations and really focus on creating friendships. Our brunch evokes a “come as you are” attitude, which hopefully sets the tone for the day for our attendees. What made you decide to get involved with Gals That Brunch? I first learned about Gals That Brunch on Instagram, then as I looked around Toronto I realized we have a lot of groups, but most focus on a specific age group, hobby or career path. With Gals That Brunch, there are none of these limitations – if you are a woman who loves to eat, you can participate. Our demographic is boundless when it comes to age, race and class. As long as you’re a female, enjoy laughing and loving life, Gals That Brunch The Six Edition welcomes you. Gals That Brunch to me is about my devotion to Toronto; it’s my favourite city in the world. As busy and overwhelming it can be, it’s still home and evokes a sense of peace. We have generous and kind people, and in Toronto you know you are accepted and have a place. FUTUREFEMALEMAG.COM | 29

What skills have you learned through Gals That Brunch, and how have you applied them to other areas of your life/career? The increase in my confidence has allowed me to flourish in other areas of my life. I’ve really improved my public speaking and communication skills since running these events. This has allowed for some growth because the expectation is to put on your game face and make people feel welcome and help to create a safe space where people can step away from daily stresses and relax. There is this rumour that girls are catty; I work hard to disprove this old wives’ tale. With Gals That Brunch The Six Edition, you’re very much accepted, celebrated and supported – so come out and enjoy. It helps to know if I am having a bad day that I can reach out to anyone who has connected with us at an event and get valuable support. What advice would you give to someone attending their first Gals That Brunch event? Is it better to come alone, or with a friend? Come with an open mind, come hungry, come ready to laugh. Allow yourself to be open to new people and ideas. I always send a welcome email to let people know it’s not a fashion show, it’s a place to come and connect. There is a level of comfort to come with someone you know, but I would also recommend coming by yourself because it opens the door for you to relax and really focus on the brunch as a part of your own self-care as you connect with new people. When you enter a Gals That Brunch event you can meet anyone you want – and I want people to embrace that. What is the most important connection you’ve ever made at a Gals That Brunch event? Why? 30 | FUTUREFEMALEMAG.COM

The community support has been both the most important and surprising to me. Toronto is such a big city and that can be daunting. Every time there is a group that attends the event, it boggles my mind that people are willing to take a chance on me and Gals That Brunch. The trust and friendship in the community has been paramount in its success. What contributing factors do you see to the growth of Gals That Brunch globally since it started? All of Toronto’s ad promotion done through social media, specifically Instagram, gives the initial interaction, but word of mouth has been the most valuable because if a friend has attended, they’ll bring another friend or some family members. I would rather grow through these personal connections and organically through word of mouth than aggressively advertising. We want to focus that it’s a place for women to come and celebrate together as well as help each other out. What important lessons have you learned about networking that anyone can apply? This may sound cliché, but don’t be afraid. You have absolutely nothing to lose by saying hello. The support that we see at Gals That Brunch emphasizes that there are women out there who want to talk to you and connect, so just start talking. Networking has such formal connotations, but it doesn’t need to. Our goal is for Gals That Brunch to help demystify that idea. Is brunch the best place for professional connections, personal connections, or both? Why? I am seeing a mixture. We’ve had a lot of collaboration during our brunches. For instance, people in start-ups working together.

The essence is creating personal connections. Great friendships are the focus, but brunch helps add the personal aspect because you’re sharing food. It creates a lighter atmosphere. What new initiatives are you excited about from Gals That Brunch? Where do you see it in five years? We are still making our name for ourselves in Toronto and I’m looking forward to hosting some non-brunch events down the road. I really want to host a larger overnight conference when we celebrate a year of Gals That Brunch in Toronto, something like a high school trip, but for grown women to walk away with a nice sense of education and connection. In the next five years, it would be wonderful to maintain our steady, organic growth, potentially collaborating with other groups. As the first branch in Canada, it would be amazing to see Gals That Brunch move across the country and collaborate. The opportunities are endless. Have you ever attended a Gals That Brunch event in another city? What was it like? How was it different from Toronto? The same? I haven’t yet, but I would love to. I have, however, gained a lot of inspiration from fellow Gals That Brunch City Leaders in terms of promotion and social media posts. I have noticed brunches that include an activity or a workshop. This is definitely something the Toronto Chapter hasn’t done yet and something I would like to do. What is your favourite place to get brunch in the city? There are so many amazing places in Toronto, we’re lucky that we don’t have to go to the same place twice for brunch. If I were to select one, I’d say Wish Restaurant (http://wishintoronto.com/) on Charles Street. It’s like a cottage getaway: cozy and comforting, the food is delicious and the staff is so friendly. I highly recommend their smoked salmon over poached eggs!! We haven’t gone there with Gals That Brunch yet, but they are my favourite.

FOLLOW GAL’S THAT BRUNCH SIX EDITION’S JOURNEY And To See Where They’ll Be Having Their Next Brunch!

@galsthatbrunchsixedition FUTUREFEMALEMAG.COM | 31

credit: pexel photos

fall LIP TRENDS written by naqia ahmed

As fall is well underway, it’s no surprise that after a year of girl power, the two standouts on the catwalk were bold glamorous reds and the 60’s inspired understated lip. Although somewhat contradicting, both looks have a fun sense of confident femininity. Put your coral lip gloss back in the cupboard and read below to see what’s hot. Understated Lip

From Dior to Tom Ford, there were a lot of ‘barely there’ natural lips on the runway. This is the perfect pairing with 60’s inspired super lashes or smoky black liner - think Twiggy or Rebel Without a Cause. If heavy black on the eyes isn’t your thing, then soften it up with a brown or gun-metal. If you love experimenting with colour try liner, shadow or even mascara in fun pops of colour, which also looks stunning with a more natural looking lip. Whether it’s the entire face or just your lips, the no-makeup makeup look is still in full effect! HOW TO WEAR THIS LOOK

For the ‘Naked Lip’ use a tinted (or not) lip balm which is great for fall’s cooler weather. If you love your tried and true lipstick then opt for nude shades in a neutral pink-tan to caramel browns. Then of course, there is always the ‘go to’ 32 | FUTUREFEMALEMAG.COM

nude-pink gloss (or nude-brown for darker lips). When there is a more natural looking lip, anything from bold blue mascara to rimming the eyes with black shadow will be nothing less than perfect.

Sultry Shades of Red

Red lipstick is always a must have; it’s the little black dress that every woman needs to have. There are many ways to do red, and yes everyone can find a shade and texture that works for them. There is the bold and sexy matte red lipstick along with the flirty berry hued lip gloss. A wine or deep cherry will also make a statement but if you’re apprehensive about darker lips, why not wear a lip stain, which is a muted version of the sultry red-burgundy lips you’ve always wanted to try. Lip stains add rich colour to your lips while looking chic and effortless. HOW TO WEAR THIS LOOK

Lip stains will be ubiquitous this fall and winter, so first find a colour that you love and then complete the look with mascara and a natural colour on the cheeks. For the lip gloss junkie, a berry gloss with mascara and a little shadow on the lids is perfect for both day and night. If you’re a fan of bold and glamorous, then the matte red lip with bare, dewy skin is something you can wear with confidence. With these lips you can also add the liquid liner cat eye, which is both retro and modern. No matter what you feel like dressing your lips in, they should ultimately be the pièce de résistance. Trends provide fun new ideas and inspiration for the season, but own your individual style while incorporating the trends that you like. Always be you!


busy babe ROUTINE

written by shawna patruno


Wash your face! You went to bed with clean skin, but while you’re sleeping you get dust particles, oils from your hair and, gosh forbid, drool all accumulating on your face. You’ll definitely want a clean canvas to start a brand new day. My ideal cleanser is one that is pH balanced and is sensitive enough to be used around the eye area. As a busy babe, I love a one-stop shop for my cleanser to save me time in the morning. Therefore, the one I recommended is safe for both.


Tone! This has nothing to do with exercise ... toner is beneficial for all skin types, as it prepares your skin for moisturizer, helping your products absorb better. Think of a sponge – it works way better when used damp to absorb spills. Same goes for your skin. If you add a little pre-hydration, everything works better.


Moisturize! You’ll need to replenish your skin with your face cream, especially with the fall season upon us. All skin types need hydration – it’s non-negotiable for everyone, even oily skin types. I always choose a paraben- and chemical-free moisturizer with a built-in mineral-based sunscreen. The less steps, the better!


Treat your eyes! Well gorgeous, now it’s time to wake up your sleepy eyes. Let’s give you a “maybe I’m born with it” vibe, but truth be told it’s a brightening eye cream. I opt for an eye cream with vitamin C and apply it with my ring finger, as it’s the gentlest and applies with the least pressure. Be sure to pat around the orbital bone, because in doing so you’ll avoid causing superficial wrinkles.


BONUS S TE P! Now that your skin is prepped for make-up, get your booty downstairs and make a smoothie. This nourishes not only your body, but also your mind and skin! You’ve heard the saying, abs are made in the kitchen. Well, the same is true for glowy skin with a nourished and hydrated body!

fall apple spice smoothie 1 cup almond milk unsweetened 1/2 green apple 2 scoops of vanilla vegan protein powder Cinnamon to taste Ice cubes (four at least) and blend 1 tbs raw almonds or pecans


How to

Unapologetically Climb to the Top written by: naima karp photo by: raw pixel


eing a woman in a workspace, especially a male-dominated one, can be tricky waters to navigate. But mastering it means you’re one step closer to owning your own business, or whatever your entrepreneurial goals may be. Women are discouraged from pursuing higher positions of power in many offices. We’re here to infuse you with skills that demand respect, exude an effortlessly confident power, and ultimately get you what you want.

SPEAK UP Speak up in meetings, and don’t let men interrupt or talk over you. Politely interject when they do and get back to your point. Don’t let other people steal your ideas. Accept the credit for your work when it’s due, and don’t sell yourself short, or let anyone else slide in there. Don’t dawdle and wait around to get that promotion. Rightfully grab what belongs to you. Men do this all the time.

SAY NO You don’t have to always be the ‘yes’ woman. It’s ok to push back and stand up for yourself, your integrity, and your ideas. This unwavering confidence will reflect your power, and might even impress someone influential.

CALL PEOPLE OUT Don’t let people get away with petty, passive aggressive insults that they wouldn’t say to a man. Never let anyone call you a bitch. Don’t take it personally - remember Anna Wintour, one of the most successful women in the world, was often dubbed with that 34 | FUTUREFEMALEMAG.COM

moniker by men. It’s just a synonym for assertive, powerful, outspoken. This person sees you as a threat because of your leadership qualities, but it’s still not ok for them to get away with. Remind them that we’re amid a women’s revolution, and their opinion isn’t the one that matters most, anymore. On a related note, if you receive unwanted, unprofessional attention from a co-worker, call it out, and loudly. This will send a message that you’re not meek, insecure, or afraid to go to HR if someone crosses boundaries. If they don’t stop after a direct request,

inform your supervisor or senior management, and contact HR. Especially in the age of #metoo and harassment claims coming out of the shadows, someone will most likely have your back.

STOP APOLOGIZING Fight against the urge to say sorry. This is often difficult for women but is key to owning our success. Apologies that aren’t warranted can imply someone is insecure, weak, or powerless. Instead of falling into the

straight. It implies credibility and alters brain chemicals to make us feel more empowered. Make strong eye contact and try not to fidget or cross your arms when making a point. Many find it effective to steeple the fingers as an alternative power move to crossing the arms. Holding hands in front of the torso and touching fingertips with separated palms emphasizes points and indicates authenticity. Lastly, perfect a strong handshake. The happy hour is where a lot of work place alliances and networking occur, but can feel like a boys’ club. Don’t let it be. Instead, invite yourself. Worse comes to worse, you’ll get to eavesdrop on some workplace politics and enjoy a cold beer or glass of wine.

FIND YOUR SHE-MENTOR While finding a clever in with the men at work can help you get a leg up, making allies with seasoned women in the workplace can be even more helpful. Whether she’s the receptionist or an executive, older ladies often fade into the background in the office but have a wealth of wisdom. That 50-year-old sweetheart that they shoved in the back can share her tips about misogyny or discrimination in the workplace and be a nurturing, knowledgeable friend who has your back. In vulnerable moments, confide in her instead of the men at work. You need them to see you as independent and self-sufficient. Invest in these women as your mentors, not the fast-talking chairman in a gold Rolex. She might just be your key to becoming a lucrative entrepreneur.

BE POSITIVE ‘sorry reflex’, focus on the different ways that you can be assertive and communicate effectively with those around you.

LEARN A POWER POSE Since 93 percent of communication is non-verbal, body language is a huge part of nailing that down. It can be hard to maneuver in a male-dominated workspace, but will make a difference. First, stand up

Don’t let negativity drag you down or compare your hustle to others. Focus on the positive, and what works, pushing away toxicity. Mindy Kaling encourages everyone to live their daily lives with, “the entitlement of a tall, blonde white man”, as her parents raised her. While some of that might be problematic, for the most part we’d have to agree. By bringing together these puzzle pieces, we can start to be at the top of our own (s)hero list, instead of watching others get there first. FUTUREFEMALEMAG.COM | 35


CREATI NG A S AFE SPO SPACE RTS FOR W OMEN written by naima karp photography by kat leroux FUTUREFEMALEMAG.COM | 37

While I would never consider myself an expert in anything sports related, I notice that there’s a glaring lack of sports websites for women. Luckily, three women decided they were fed up and going to do something about it. Roslyn McLarty, Ellen Hyslop, and Jacie deHoop, the three co-founders of The GIST, worked in finance in downtown Toronto for nearly four years before embarking on this journey together. During that time, they noticed that across every organization on the corporate ladder, a common topic of discussion was sports. “Especially in a major city with lots of teams, sports can be a topic that unites people, builds community, and forms a bond between people regardless of gender, age, race, religion, or socioeconomic class. At the same time, we also noticed that sports can be exclusionary for people that don’t stay up-to-date on sports news.” The die-hard fans and ‘boys only’ clubs tend to leave women out of the conversation. The ladies found that women were excluded and engaging less with sports partly because the people creating sports news were mostly men, writing for a mostly male audience. And it makes sense. If a topic is relevant to a certain group but the kingpins of the industry don’t see it as an important demographic, they’ll 38 | FUTUREFEMALEMAG.COM

lose interest. If you’re not the audience being targeted, why should you give those outlets your readership? “For the most part, sports content is not written in a female tone or personality and it doesn’t cater to our interests or sense of humour. So, we decided to do something about it. “ They decided to found the GIST as a more inclusive and safe space for women to talk sports. Its content is written for women, by women, and is both accessible and entertaining. It also acts as a gateway for those who have a piqued interest in the sports community, but are unsure where to start learning, or don’t have hours to invest in reading recaps or watching games. McLarty, Hyslop, and deHoop met at Queen’s University during their undergrad in commerce and have been friends ever since. When catching up over dinner in the winter of 2017, the ladies were talking sports and noted how there wasn’t really any sports content catering to women. They had to reach this breakthrough moment through Hyslop, the avid sports fan of the three, who was casually talking about a recent Leaf ’s game. DeHoop and McLarty felt engaged in that moment, but not as much as when the guys in the office were talking about it.

“We decided to replicate that feeling of your friend just catching you up on ‘the gist’ of what’s happening in sports in a really approachable, relatable way. We decided we would deliver that through a weekly email newsletter and social media - the places the female millennial is already scrolling”. The site talks about things in a relatable context that millennial women will understand. A big part of that means writing sports content the same way they would talk to their girlfriends, including showing their personality, which readers connect with. The women are their target market, which makes it easy for them to have a unique, authentic perspective on what their audience might be interested in. It began as a side hustle, as the three had demanding jobs, but due to their passion over the project, they ended up investing most of their free time in it. In March of 2018, they applied for the Digital News Innovation Challenge, an incubator program held in partnership with the DMZ and the Facebook Journalism Project. Out of the 70 applicants, The GIST was accepted as one of five teams across Canada. With this new funding, space, and access to entrepreneurship and mentorship workshops, the women were able to quit their full-time jobs to dedicate their lives to The GIST and haven’t looked back since. Sports news for women isn’t just an issue for readers. It’s a media wide problem. The women reveal, “In the traditional sports media space, only 14 percent of sports editors are women and only four percent of sports media coverage is on female athletes”. These meager statistics also don’t let women know that they can be more than one thing. They don’t have to just be a tomboy looking for dad’s validation. They can be feminine, too. Instead, female sports fans are often hit with questions like, “but if you’re girly how can you be so into sports?”, which Hyslop herself experienced as a kid. Men just couldn’t understand how a woman could be passionate about sports but enjoy makeup and a pretty dress too. Women working on the media end of the industry experience it as well. “It’s equally unfair that many female sports broadcasters are also often accused of having gotten to where they are for being traditionally attractive or ‘eye-candy’, not because they are knowledgeable. The reality is that yes, they are traditionally attractive, but they also really know their stuff and have worked incredibly hard to get there and are completely deserving. “ Good athletes are recognized by traditionally masculine traits such as aggression, competition, and strength. In sports, you need these skills to succeed, and they don’t align with how society wants women to act. The GIST is helping to fight that by being inclusive cheerleaders for all female athletes and all women, whether they fit into society’s norms or not.

For a long time, the sports world has felt like a guy’s space. “Unfortunately, a lot of men out there think sports are exclusively their safe space. No wonder a lot of women don’t feel welcome in it or feel intimidated and self-conscious. In some situations, I’ve felt too intimidated to ask questions when I didn’t know what was going on. I felt self-conscious about ‘looking dumb’ for not knowing the rules. Then I’d just sit through the game, bored, because sports aren’t that interesting when you don’t understand what’s happening. “

“For the most part, sports content is not written in a female tone or personality and it doesn’t cater to our interests or sense of humour. So, we decided to do something about it.“ As a result, The GIST holds sports viewing parties that are for women - a safe space and fun social environment. They’re also currently doing a live hockey draft and football pool online where mostly women participate, since these communities are traditionally mostly male. The result is to hopefully get women to engage more in these conversations in the office, and to create a more level playing field. Of course, trolls exist beneath every female superhero. Some folks get rubbed the wrong way about The GIST and their mission - some even ridiculously accused them of being anti-feminist. But fortunately, their reception has been mostly positive, due to the gaping hole in the sports industry that these women are proudly filling. Many women simply love sports. They’re not trying to get anyone’s approval, or be the ‘cool girl’ for the sake of fitting in. They’re self-sufficient and have genuine interests which might be wildly different from one another, but a love for sports brings them together. “We accept, support and encourage all women who are, or want to become sports fans, regardless of their motivations.”. FOLLOW THE GIST’S JOURNEY



www.thegistnews.ca FUTUREFEMALEMAG.COM | 39

credit: raw pixel



t the end of 2017, I began to think about New Year’s Resolutions, as a lot of us do. I reflected about my love of running, how fun it was to complete my first 5km race in over a decade, and setting some running goals for 2018 in terms of commitment to the sport, races and distances. Then I started reading some articles on the success levels of resolutions, which aren’t so hot. U.S. News says that 80 percent of New Year’s Resolutions fail before Valentine’s Day. That isn’t very inspiring, and as I approached the big 40, I needed some sort of real-life muse to help me take the reins in terms of achieving some personal goals. I knew I wanted to work towards something that was going to make me feel good, particularly as someone who loves to check something off of a “to-do list.” A traditional set of resolutions just wasn’t going to cut it for me. When I came across 101 in 1001, I knew it was something I had to try. 101 in 1001 isn’t just a resolution list, it’s also a bucket list, a way to get the things you’ve always said you’ve wanted to do onto your radar and schedule. It has been a lot more fun than a standard resolution, which apparently gets thrown out with those heart-shaped cinnamon candies most of the time. You can start it whenever you want, and you have 1001 days to try to check the items off of your list – that’s roughly two and three-quarter years to tackle things large and small.


written by sara maginn pacella At the time of writing this, I’m around a quarter of the way through my 1001 days and have completed 15 items on my list, and I’m hoping to have knocked off 30–35 items before the end of the year. If this is something you are considering taking on, here are my tips for getting the most out of creating and completing your very own 101 in 1001 list.

Make Your Goals Specific and Measurable

Now is not the time to be vague. Write down what you really want to achieve here. Think of the popular S.M.A.R.T goal setting when creating this list (S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely).

It’s Going to Take Time to Curate Your List

101 is not a small number. Odds are you’ll easily be able to write down the first 10 or 20 items of your list pretty quickly. Take your time on the list and really own it. It took me nearly two weeks to get mine together, and that’s cool. These need to be things you want to achieve, not simply filler that you’re never going to do.

Find the Balance

Some of the items are going to be huge, like taking a dream vacation, growing your business or skydiving. They don’t all need to be big ticket items. Finally cleaning out that linen closet, donating blood, volunteering at a food bank or finishing your son’s baby book (something Iwas happy to knock-off my list) are just as worthy as hiking the Pacific Coast Trail.

Make It Fun

Being a parent has shown me how often we grown-ups are hesitant to try new things, while my kids are eager to roll up their sleeves and jump in. I’m sad we lose this as we age, and I’m making an effort to fight it. This is the reason why items like taking a nature survival course, trying an archery lesson or staying the night at the Ice Hotel in Quebec City have been added to my list. They’re things that I’ve wanted to do for a while, but always had an excuse not to do. Now that excuse is gone.

So, What Have You Been Putting Off?

Talking about “adulting,” there’s something extra special about finally checking an item off of your list that you’ve been meaning to do for ages, but just haven’t gotten around to. I have a set of beautiful prints that were procured at a garage sale and have been sitting in my bedroom for over a year now because they are an odd size. Putting in the leg work to get the right frames and finally hang them on the wall is going to feel doubly rewarding because I also get to cross it off my 101, and enjoy the prints.

Make Yourself Accountable

It can be easy to lose track of your list in the day-to-day, particularly because you have almost three years to “make it all happen,” but don’t put the list in the back of the junk drawer you swore you’d clean up. Figure out what works for you. Put the list on your calendar, or your fridge, set reminders on your phone – monthly or weekly – to get moving on things.

Put in a Few Stretch Items

Yes, it would be nice to achieve every single item on your list, but I know for mine that probably isn’t going to happen. That’s okay because I’m working towards progress here, not perfection. There are some items that I’m going to be super stoked (and a little surprised) if I achieve (cartwheels, I’m talking about you), but I’m also going to be okay with moving on to my next list in another two years, which I’ve already started working on!

Get Others Involved

You might be surprised how many other people want to join you, or act as your cheerleading squad, either by creating a list of their own, or accompanying you on some of your 101 in 1001 adventures. By getting other people excited about your list, they can push you into finally booking that paddle-boarding lesson.





MEDIEVAL STYLE written by sara maginn pacella photography by kat leroux

Growing up, I don’t remember playing princess often. I’m too old to have experienced the Disney Princess heyday of the 1990s, so my female role models were the women who reigned in my family and social circle. All strong, some ruled with an iron fist, others a velvet glove, and many somewhere in between. The role of the damsel in distress was never a part of my repertoire. Today, I see my daughter grow up in a world where princesses are evolving into strong leaders, not meek songstresses with a chorus of forest friends to keep them company while they wait for Prince WhatsHisFace to come save them. When I got word that Medieval Times had retired their old script after nearly 35 years to make way for their first ever Queen, I was ecstatic. Future Female Magazine was fortunate enough to experience the new show, with a fierce but fair Queen at the centre of it all, to interview two Queens from Toronto Medieval Times, Mallory Toye and Sarah Winstanley, as well as Leigh Cordner, Director of Show for all Medieval Times Castles, writer of the new show and an integral player in launching the new script in all Medieval Times Castles. What’s it like to portray a feminist icon, but from a very different perspective? Mallory: There weren’t very many Medieval Queens who were sole rulers, so it’s definitely new and exciting for us. In terms of Medieval Times, it has been a king for 34 years, and it’s a fantastic feeling to be able to play this role model. There is a chancellor who is advisor to the Queen, but a King would have someone in this role. Sarah: It’s the most fun I’ve ever had at work. It’s so empowering! I’ve never had a role this big so far, and portraying the Queen is such an honour.

Medieval Times prides itself on its authentic representation of Medieval History, dating back to the 11th Century. How does having a Queen at the centre of it all fit in with an accurate portrayal of the times? Leigh: We don’t cite a year for our event, although some early histories of the company say it was modelled after a tournament in 1093. The Map of Europe has been consolidated over the centuries, but 1,000 years ago there were scores of “Kingdoms” independent of each other and often under the rule of a Queen (Theodora, Brunhilde, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Isabella in Spain). What inspired bringing in a Queen to facilitate as one of the key players in the tournament? Leigh: We have been working towards this change for many years. In the last few productions, our “Princess” character had an equal share of the dialogue in the show and was often the focal point of the storyline – but never the out-and-out monarch. When looking to make a change in the show (which we do on an approximate five-year cycle), we were focusing on two things: responding to customer feedback (wanting to see a woman play a more prominent role) and a dynamic shift in the direction of the show. We think the new Queen role addresses both. Once we decided to move in this direction, the show took about a year to design, write, score and choreograph. What inspired you to audition for the role of the Queen? Mallory: I was cast as the Princess for the old show three and a half years ago after a standard monologue audition. I was a big fan of Medieval Times and was looking for a way to scratch my acting itch. I graduated from college a few months earlier, I already loved the show, and my dad found a listing for a casting call, so I just went for it. It was an informal process going from the Princess to the Queen, but we still needed to make sure that everyone on cast fit well with their role to make the show work. FUTUREFEMALEMAG.COM | 43

Mallory: The biggest change was learning to ride a horse as the Queen. This was something we didn’t have to do as princesses. The horse riding was the make it or break it task. We have wonderful horse trainers who made us feel at ease and enabled us to pick it up. Beyond the horseback riding, when I was preparing to become Queen I read the script to see where the character starts, where she ends up and how she gets there. I look at each line to see what tactics she’s employing to get what she wants. I saw a lot of myself in the Queen. She is sure of herself and in control, but also caring and kind, and I think I was able to bring a lot of myself to this role. Sarah: With becoming the Princess, it was about learning the show, and a type of language that isn’t like modern conversation. In preparing to become the Queen, we were able to come in twice a week to train in horseback riding. Being the Queen is all about multitasking, as you need to be able to ride your horse, all while connecting with the audience, smiling and waving.

Sarah: I was the Princess for five years and it was the most fun I’d ever had, so it was a natural fit for us to move up into the role of the Queen. When I auditioned for my role as Princess, I’d never seen the show, but was enthusiastic to get involved. This audition was the only role I was ever late for because I had to come during my lunch hour while working in retail. I guess my passion showed, because I got the role anyway. How did you prepare and train to become a Queen?

What are the most common questions you get from people attending the show? What is the most unusual question you’ve received? Mallory: It’s very common that they’ll refer to me as the Princess, which I can understand with people being in that mindset. But as soon as people see that it’s the Queen, they get excited. The longer the show runs, the less mistaking the Queen for a Princess will happen. A big change is that I’m getting more young boys coming up to talk to me. When it was the King, they were drawn to him, but now they want to be with the most powerful person, which is very interesting. It’s exciting to see young boys react to that. Sarah: Children often ask me whether everything is real. If I’m real, if the horses are real. I give them a little poke and ask them if they’re real, which satisfies their curiosity while keeping the magic of the show alive. In terms of adult audience members, the response, particularly from grown women, is fantastic. At a recent show, I had a woman in her late sixties or so approach


me, hold onto both of my hands and say, “It’s been too long. Thank you for what you’re doing!” It can be powerful and emotional, and I’m getting misty-eyed thinking about it right now.

Leigh: When launching a new show in multiple cities (nine), deciding on where to go and when is mostly a matter of logistics. We work around our costume shop’s production schedule, as well as the armoury where all the new armour and weapons are created. Personnel also play a role. The more the cast seems capable of mounting the production, the easier it is for me to slate them for the install. Toronto had a talented crew of princesses in the building preparing for the new role, so the choice was easy.

Sarah: People are still getting used to it. The show still has everything that you could want in terms of the audience experience. My crown is bigger and we have new choreography. At one point, when we were learning the old show and preparing for the new one, we had four scripts to work with at the same time – the standard show and educational one for both the show we were performing and the one we were preparing for. What is the best thing about being the Queen? Mallory: Being able to be a role model to young women, girls and boys, and show that you can be kind, strong, fair and independent. You don’t need to be a pushover to be caring and friendly. Sarah: I love talking to the guests after the show, watching the little kids’ eyes light up as they can’t believe the magic around them.

What has the reception been like for the introduction of the Queen? Has the audience responded differently? How?

Are there plans to bring a Queen to any other castles soon?

You have nine castles in North America, what inspired Toronto to be one of the first to have a Queen? When and where did the Queen make her debut appearance?

Leigh: Our audiences tell us they love the new production. We have managed to keep all the touchstones from previous shows and added the Queen element kind of seamlessly into the model. There are scenes in the new show when the Queen demonstrates her power and “backbone” that really resonate with the women and young girls in the audience. Her character manages to be strong, insightful, wise and, at the same time, she is supremely confident in her abilities and fair in her dealings with the other characters in the show. How is the show different with a Queen in charge, compared to the traditional King?

Mallory: A much larger female presence in the show. In terms of how she rules, I think we’ve done a very good job of showing it doesn’t matter if you’re a Queen or a King – that you can be a leader and not shy away from doing what’s right, even if it’s unpopular.


Leigh: Medieval Times runs just one production at a time in all nine cities, so yes, the Queen is taking over. The new show has already debuted in seven cities and we will be launching it in Baltimore in October, and the ninth and final debut will be in Atlanta in November. After that, we will begin casting for our newest location in Scottsdale/Phoenix, which is due to open in early 2019. Those attending the show normally focus their attention on the knights. Has the addition of the Queen changed this dynamic?

Leigh: That would depend on who you ask. The knights are certainly the focal point for the audiences since they are there to “support” their Knight in the games and in combat. However, with a new character on stage, I am sure some of the guests are equally intrigued with the Queen. In the post-show meet and greet, our actresses portraying the Queen say there is a change


in the way they are approached and greeted by the guests in this role, as opposed to the role of the Princess. It was never our intention to divert any attention away from the knights, since the horsemanship, jousts and combat are really the cornerstone of our success, but there is enough audience enthusiasm to go around. Can you tell me about your Chivalry in Action program?

Leigh: The Chivalry in Action program is multi-faceted. It ranges from our school matinee “anti-bullying” presentation, to our work in the communities in which we are located, and even on a national and international scale, with relief and assistance efforts at home and overseas. Medieval Times prides itself on being part of the community, and so you might find our team members at fundraising efforts like walk-a-thons, food drives, breast cancer awareness events, and disaster relief efforts. We consider all of it “chivalry in action.” The specific Chivalry in Action program was designed and written several years ago to demonstrate (using our show characters) the impact that bullying has in schools, on the playground and on social media. We’re proud of the message the four vignettes that comprise the program sends – and of course the Queen now plays a prominent role in teaching those lessons. What other acting roles or previous jobs have helped prepare you for this? How?

Mallory: Past leadership experiences really prepared me to understand where the Queen is coming from and knowing you’re doing the right thing even when you must make a tough decision. Sarah: Previous work with Shakespearean plays helped, as did my background studying improv at Second City – so much of the show is interactive, and it’s been helpful to be able to answer audience questions while remaining in character. Something I’ve learned is how strong my muscle memory is in terms of performing the show and how to perform under pressure. What important life lessons have you learned through becoming a Queen?

Mallory: Don’t be afraid to break the mold or stand up for what you know is right. There is no reason to shy away from doing the right thing. Sarah: The Queen has helped me become more comfortable in standing up for myself, which isn’t always easy. I’ve also learned how to be heard, even when there are over 1,000 people yelling and cheering, which has made it easier to apply to other areas of my life.


@medievaltimestoronto www.medievaltimes.com FUTUREFEMALEMAG.COM | 47

Prairie Girl Flowers

SLOW FLOWERS IN CALGARY written by: lauren mackay photography by: shanda harper


ears ago when Becky Feasby was working with patients and their families to develop the five acres of therapeutic gardens at Calgary’s Children’s Hospital, she had no idea she would introduce a flower truck to Calgary. Nor did she when she was studying anthropology in Edmonton years earlier or riding the train to the Bronx Botanical Gardens to study horticultural therapy, or even upon her return to Calgary when she trained in landscape design. But isn’t that the way life unfolds? A glimmer of interest from childhood, in Feasby’s case in flowers, a significant, consistent effort over time, and then the reveal of something so good it can’t help but take off. This is Prairie Girl Flowers, Feasby’s latest offering to the Calgary horticultural scene, a mobile dedicant to the Slow Flowers Movement.

tissue, plastic wrap and ribbon, to package flowers shipped from all over the world. Feasby realized there had to be a better way, a way to provide clients with beautiful fresh flowers with a significantly reduced carbon footprint. Her research led her to Debra Prinzing and the Slow Flowers Movement, a move toward sourcing local, seasonal flowers and less ecologically damaging ways of presenting and packaging them. In addition to ordering from Albertan and British Columbian flower farms and greenhouses, Feasby began looking to her own gardens, those of her friends,

Many proponents of the Slow Flowers Movement don’t have conventional storefronts and Feasby is no exception.

She does much of her work from home, her two dogs at her feet, sometimes adorned with flowers. She regularly offers arrangements from select shops in the city (Bite Grocer, The Bownesian, Plantation Garden Centre), visits a variety of markets with the truck, and the rest of her work is commission based. Her work also includes floral jewelry, indoor planters, wreaths, and seasonal containers. The truck itself is a work of art, a muted turquoise with a dash of powder, black flowers, and outlines of native species painted by a local tattoo artist. The truck is a bit unconventional, and there are layers. Yes, it is a mobile flower shop, but the products are arrangements of flowers sourced from Alberta and BC, and this is less common than you may think. When she returned to school to study floral composition and design, it was a world of foam bricks, bright

and using pieces of plants not traditionally used in arrangements. A sprig or two of clematis, a mountain ash branch, sedum, whatever is available locally and seasonally. It makes for arrangements that exude the essence of nature, in every way. In addition to reducing the carbon footprint by sourcing locally she is committed to reducing waste. She uses burlap to wrap her flowers (because it can be reused or composted) and a biodegradable foam wrap on the base of stems that hydrates well and keeps flowers alive for hours FUTUREFEMALEMAG.COM | 49

When asked about her business, less than a year old, Feasby says the feedback has been amazing, but admits it has been more work than she thought it would be at the outset. “The actual flowering is the least of my work. It’s learning and organizing and accounting. It’s marketing and thinking about what’s next.” The future holds more time in the truck, possibly a work space away from home and workshop offerings, some taught by her and others, hosted by her, but led by other experts in the field. It’s gathering people with the same values to connect and exchange ideas. “Share what you are good at and look to others for the rest. We are better for sharing and my favourite people who I’ve met along the way are both generous with their time and knowledge and looking for that connection and collaborative piece. The more we can connect with likeminded people, the more we share, the more we grow. I’d like to think this is the way things are moving.” What’s most inspiring about Feasby is her focus and dedication.

“I go to bed every night thinking about flowers. Every night. And I have for years, possibly two decades.”

As such, she’s got a vision and she is committed and disciplined. “There is a discipline to honouring that local sustainability piece. Sometimes I see imports that would be incredible in an arrangement, but I move on, because that isn’t what I want to do.” She is also clear that she is not everyone’s florist. “The arrangements are a sort of loose, unpredictable style, simply because I can’t guarantee what will be available that day.” It’s for this reason she was initially reluctant to do wedding floristry. And yet, in her first season, she has eight weddings under her belt and more lined up. In fact, her work is so distinct that Bridal Expo Calgary contacted her and asked her to bring the truck and her offerings to their yearly event. “I’m not competing with conventional florists and what I do is not for every bride. They called me because they wanted something for brides looking for something a bit different. I’m really looking forward to pulling the truck up to the BMO Centre.” And why shouldn’t she be? FOLLOW THE PRAIRIE GIRL FLOWERS JOURNEY

@prairiegirlflowers www.prairiegirlflowers.com



• Make a business plan, but don’t be afraid to stray from it if it isn’t working. Don’t be so stubborn to not look outside of the box. • Self-care is essential. If you want to be doing the work you love 10 years from now, you must take care of yourself. In my case, everything I do is in front of my body, so I have to do specific body work to balance that out. • Be super organized. Be meticulous about your calendar. Write everything down, including things you are learning along the way. • Stay in your lane. Know exactly what it is you are doing. Present your best work and turn to others for the rest. We are better for sharing.


@shanda_harper_photography www.shandaharperphotography.com

How to Save for the Trip of a Lifetime AND SATISFY WANDERLUST ON A BUDGET written by lauren mackay credit: raw pixel


s it an isolated mountain range? An idyllic beach? Diversity of culture? Art and architecture? The ancient world? Culinary delights? In the core of your being, what is it you seek? That’s what the trip of a lifetime is, a culmination of your wildest dreams. So let your imagination soar until you’ve created what will make your heart sing. Then, you’ll need a plan to make it happen.

RESEARCH Complete as much research as you can, to learn about where you would like to go, what time of year you’d like to travel, for how long, how the currency stacks up to your currency, what types of ground transportation you will have to use, and what you’d like to do while you’re there.

DEFINE YOUR TRIP Where will you be going? What do you want to do? How will you get there? There are several factors that will affect the cost of your trip, define them and then begin to determine the cost.

PRICE IT OUT Once you know what you’d like to cover on your trip, you can look at the variety of price options and set the cost. When you realistically know how much money you will require, you can decide what to do next.




Identify what your basic monthly cost of living is and track everything you spend. This includes where you live, food, transportation, utilities, insurance, communication fees, entertainment, and anything else you spend on each month.

If you use credit, apply for a credit card that will help you achieve your travel goals. Several credit cards offer perks like travel insurance, cash back, air miles, discounts on car rentals, and other perks.

DECIDE HOW QUICKLY YOU WOULD LIKE TO SAVE If you want to save quickly, you can eliminate more nonessential spending (dinner out, daily coffee etc.). If you intend to save more gradually, you can be more moderate. Be realistic about what you can manage.

OPEN A TRAVEL SAVINGS ACCOUNT Open a specific account for this goal and transfer a pre-determined amount of funds immediately upon receiving them. Add other money at will, but stick to your plan.

HERE ARE SEVERAL TIPS AND TRICKS TO CUT COSTS AND STILL HAVE A GREAT ADVENTURE. • Travel in low season or shoulder season. • Fly on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. These days are typically less desired, and fares are often cheaper. • Be flexible. If you can be flexible about when you go, how far in advance you book, or even where you go, you can find some amazing deals. • Take advantage of stopover options. Some airlines offer stopovers on multi-leg flights at no extra cost. If you want to explore two locales, ask if the airline you are booking with offers this. • Look for free things to do. Play in the great outdoors by hiking or swimming. Many museums have free days, look to see if your visit coincides.

MAINTAIN YOUR DREAM Converting dreams to reality takes a good deal of work and dedication. When you find yourself getting discouraged or frustrated, keep saving anyway.


• Use public transportation. When you are travelling by land, using public transport will save you a good deal of money. • If you are looking to save money, never eat within 6 blocks of a tourist site. Venturing further should avoid the dreaded ‘tourist tax’. • Don’t always eat out. Shop for food at markets and choose accommodation where you can cook. Or eat at popular street vendors to eat like a local. • If you need to do long distance overland travel, try to book it overnight to save the cost of a night of accommodation. • Use apps to call and text while away or call ahead to get a good travel plan to keep your phone bill under control while on the road. FUTUREFEMALEMAG.COM | 53


e l i n Cha s e n i V


written by sara maginn pacella photography by kat leroux makeup by kathleen fitzjohn


hen we say someone is successful, many different things come to mind. In the age of self-care and the enjoyment of experiences over things, fewer of us are being driven by career goals alone. We want more. Family, friends, and what we do outside of the professional world can drive us just as much as the desire to excel in many paths. We work hard to carve out a life that is driven by a desire for meaning, purpose and fun. After taking care of her grandmother, whose condition declined quickly with dementia, Chanile Vines became a champion in the fight against Alzheimer’s and all other forms of dementia. Chanile is building an award-winning Spark-funded Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation Spark Funded, and ground-breaking dDementia care App, It Takes a Village, iTAV ( itavcare.com ), to provide person-centred care using a proprietary dementia-care mapping technique that provides the most vulnerable people, and their caregivers, with the opportunity to build a rich and fulfilling life. In her research, Chanile aims to understand and facilitate support for both clients experiencing the changes that come with aging, and their caregivers. But her success doesn’t stop there … As Founder of Vines Play, an event and marketing agency specializing in the wine industry, Chanile’s sense of wanderlust and love of wine paired with her educational background in event marketing and psychology make her a triple threat for anyone with a thirst for higher spirit knowledge. She has pursued education in both psychology and wine, and will earn her Master of Science in Psychology in 2019. But what we really want to know is, how does she turn her goals into a reality?

WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING THING ABOUT BALANCING TWO VERY DIFFERENT CAREERS? One of the biggest benefits of enacting a single, specialized role is that it facilitates categorization for oneself (i.e. “I am a photographer”) and for others (i.e. “He is a photographer”). It allows people to easily recommend you and allows you to follow a path to success by watching other people in your field. Having multiple careers means that people will struggle to categorize you (which is not really a bad thing), but you won’t have too many career models to use as guide. People often assume consistency is a marker of authenticity, so they try to find out what is the real career and what is the hobby. I believe attempting to be consistent to a single self can become a barrier to authenticity. Researchers who investigate human behaviour explain that humans, by nature, are many things, and working multiple jobs over the course of our careers may bring us closer to understanding and expressing our true selves. To combat this notion or feeling of inauthenticity, it’s important to know that your opinions and knowledge are valuable at every stage in your career. If you feel like an outsider because you didn’t take the exact steps everyone did or you’re still learning, leverage that and look at the industry as an outsider. Ask yourself “What’s missing here? What do I know from my other job/roles that can

contribute in this field to make it better?” That is where the value of being multi-potential lies – the ability to blend knowledge and see things no one else can. HOW DO YOU STAY BOTH MOTIVATED & FOCUSED ON YOUR CAREER GOALS, PARTICULARLY WHEN THEY ARE FROM TWO VERY DIFFERENT FIELDS? Sustainable motivation comes from within; it’s supported by well-defined goals and fuelled by a strong emotional connection to a desired outcome. Studies have shown that fostering this intrinsic motivation (because you find it personally rewarding) is more sustainable than extrinsic motivation (when we are driven towards a behaviour to earn a reward or avoid a punishment or negative repercussions). Like most people, I use external rewards to motivate me sometimes. I value my intrinsic drivers more. To grow my intrinsic motivations, I set proper goals. For instance, when setting goals, especially if you’re pursuing multiple careers, acknowledge that each of us only has a finite number of resources – meaning you can’t accomplish everything under the sun. Find the things that speak to you most and decide what “success” means to you. There are many different roles in the wine industry. I chose marketing because the human behaviour around consumption and perception of wine intrigued me. I didn’t attempt to be a winemaker or work as a sommelier. Instead, I chose a section of the industry that I found most engaging. Once you have your goals and where to focus your finite energy, you get a deeper understanding of your unique work ethic and style. Those starting out on a particular path may find it helpful to segment and focus on tasks related to your job separately to help you establish role legitimacy within each job individually. The true beauty and value comes from being able to blend knowledge from different careers and find your uniqueness. It isn’t the job that you’re trying to master, but finding and capitalizing on that uniqueness. Anyone can be a high performer at a job, but only you can be you. That knowledge keeps me motivated. WHAT OTHER ENTREPRENEURS AND INVENTORS HAVE INSPIRED YOU? Myliek Teele has become a virtual mentor, and has had one of the biggest impacts on my life. She built a very successful business called Curl Box, from scratch. She mentors and teaches so many women. She has a great podcast where she shares business tips about her journey. We tend to gravitate towards certain professions because we see people that look like us excelling in these spaces. To see a young black woman crushing the business world means I can do it too; representation matters because it inspires us. WHAT IS THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECIEVED? HOW ABOUT THE WORST? Best – Fail early. As I work on iTAV, every expert in the tech field has been saying get it out there and get feedback now. Worst – I’ve received a lot of advice in different formats that amounted to “do not go anywhere you are not expected to be.” For example, “pick a black job” or “look at your audience, you are too different from them.” Thankfully, I never took this advice – I belong everywhere. FUTUREFEMALEMAG.COM | 55

IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT ENTREPRENEURIAL ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOURSELF? Don’t be afraid. Fear has a way of not only limiting your goals, but hinders you from finding solutions to the problems you are worried about. I took a leap starting a business, but I have allowed fear to limit some of my growth. WHAT DOES FEMINISM MEAN TO YOU? I think of feminism as a movement fuelled by individuals. So, I ask myself “What do I bring to the movement?” It’s the perfect blend of strength and care that makes being a female in business so powerful. I believe feminism is the future – it’s how we need to govern, teach and live. Strength mixed with care. WHAT PERSONAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF? I’m currently learning how to swim and every time I step into the water I’ve never felt prouder. I’ve taken flying lessons, jumped from buildings, bet on myself in business, so I wouldn’t describe myself as a fearful person, but swimming has taken me way out my comfort zone. I had a traumatic experience in the water, where I saw a child drown at the beach. While I’m not afraid of the water, I didn’t have enough access to learn to swim when I was younger. The lessons I’ve learned in swimming class translate into real life. Fear keeps us safe, but it also prevents us from moving forward. If you are frightened and try to hold onto the water (just so you know, it’s hard to grip water), you can’t swim. It is only by letting go and trusting that the water will hold you up that you can learn to swim. Every time I gasp and have a little water freak-out (it’s humiliating), there’s no way I am stopping. Since I have taken these lessons, I feel like I have lived up to a principle I believe in – fear means try, failure means try harder, and success means get even better. CAN YOU SHARE SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF THAT YOUR WORKING ON IMPROVING, AND HOW YOU THINK IT WILL BE BETTER/MORE PRODUCTIVE/ RUN MORE SMOOTHLY ONCE YOU’VE ACCOMPLISHED YOUR GOAL? Finishing. I’ve been the person to muse over ideas, research the hell out of concepts and suffer from analysis paralysis before finalizing the details. I’ve learnt that done is infinitely better. You can fix while you build, but putting off things you can get done today will always be a barrier to growth. YOU ARE AN AVID TRAVELLER. HAT IMPORTANT LIFE LESSONS HAVE YOU LEARNED THROUGH YOUR WANDERLUST ADVENTURES? Travel can be a true test of personal skills. I’m the worst navigator at home and need Google directions to get anywhere in my city, but somehow in the middle of Morocco with no GPS I can find my way around. I’ve learnt how to have a conversation and connect with individuals even where there is a language barrier. I understand how different cultures can be, but how similar we are as people. Every time I travel, I discover something within myself that I had no idea existed. 56 | FUTUREFEMALEMAG.COM


It’s the perfect blend of strength and care that makes being a female in business so powerful. I believe feminism is the future. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO PURSUE EDUCATION IN GERIATRIC MENTAL HEALTH? After taking care of my Grandmother, I became motivated to work and help in this space. It’s a difficult experience to watch someone you love forget their best memories and lose their connection to the world around them. I’m proud to have joined the fight against Alzheimer’s and all other forms of dementia. WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING THING ABOUT WORKING IN GERIATRIC MENTAL HEALTH? WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING? The complex needs of people with dementia can be difficult to meet, leading to need-driven dementia-compromised behaviours. These behaviours are difficult for family members to manage and can lead to caregiver distress, and the placement of people in residential care. In my work, I can help people navigate this stressful time. I help caregivers develop a person- centred approach to building a care plan. Each caregiver is given a critical path that can aid with navigating difficult aspects of providing care. Critical paths include how to navigate resistance to feeding, remembering to give medication and preventing wandering. My aim is to extend this impact. With the Spark-funded Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation Spark Funding , I will be able to turn this into an app that people can easily access. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN RECENTLY DIAGNOSED WITH DEMENTIA? HOW ABOUT THEIR FAMILLIES AND SUPPORT NETWORKS? For both the individual diagnosed and the family, I would recommend taking some time to understand how the disease progresses. Approach this by looking to gather as much information as possible, without fear. Speak with your doctor, social worker and other experts in the industry. Dementia is a dynamic disease, so the more information you have on hand, the better. TELL ME ABOUT SOME OF THE PIVOTAL EVENTS THAT LED TO YOU STARTING VINES PLAY? I was approached to host a wine event for an Ontario brand, and I enjoyed the experience. At that time, my LinkedIn bio showcased my knack for, “Providing space for businesses and people to grow, connect and have fun” – the epitome of my life motto. I was able to provide a dynamic space for a brand, to promote and understand more about their consumers, and at the same time allow guests to have a great time. I instantly thought “I could do this forever.” At the same time, experiential marketing was taking the forefront, and building events and experiences are my favourite marketing tool. So, with the hosting of my first wine event and the rise of experiential marketing, it made sense to start Vines Play.

WHAT IS YOUR GOAL FOR VINES PLAY? When I started my business, I completed a full competitive analysis of the Ontario wine industry and the international market, paying close attention to the use of marketing services, potential competition and room for growth. My goal for Vines Play is to develop the business into a premier marketing and holding company for wines and spirit. To reach my goals, getting to know my audience is paramount. I work to learn more about the likes and dislikes of my audience and I create campaigns for brands around that knowledge. WHAT EXCITING TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING WITHIN THE WINE COMMUNITY? There is a lot happening in the wine industry! There has been an increase in natural wines, which will be helpful for people who have allergies. Wine travel is on the rise, with a major boom in the travel industry spilling over into the wine community as more people are taking trips to wine regions. Lastly, the wine club era is back, no longer being seen as an old exclusive male club. Younger people are looking to connect and have great experiences and have begun joining wine clubs. WHAT INSPIRES YOU? The ability to help the most vulnerable people in society and the opportunity to build a life that I truly want to live. WHATS YOUR FAVORITE WINE?WHY? A beautiful Pinot Noir. It has the power you would expect from a red wine but with a restraint and beauty that I love.


@vinesplay @itavcare


From Couch Potato

to Goal-Busting Athlete written by sara maginn pacella photography by nick nikitaras

We all have that friend. The one who suddenly became motivated to take on athletic feats they’d only previously talked about at happy hour drinks, only to trade in their signature Old Fashioned for a pair of running shoes and a regular appointment at the gym. While you’re proud of that person, odds are it has you thinking about your own fitness goals. You may even find yourself getting a little bit jealous, wishing you could bottle whatever it was they found to make their goals a reality. Most of us could use some more activity in our lives. The amount of time we spend parked in front of a computer screen or watching Netflix each night isn’t good for us. The good news is that you can start making changes for the better today, whether it’s hitting that 10,000 steps mark on your FitBit each day, doing 10 push-ups or finally running that charity 5km. Here is some sage advice from athletes and the owner of True Fit You, Dalia Dissanayake, a personal trainer, massage therapist, women’s boot camp specialist, yoga and kickboxing instructor, on what keeps them motivated to help you carry out your own fitness goal path. JOIN EARLY When you sign up for an athletic feat, you want to make sure you have time to train, adjust for any potential setbacks and set yourself up for success. Erika, a runner and Tough Mudder finisher, says, “Commit early. When you do, you can often take advantage of early bird pricing, but more importantly, that commitment gets you going. Once you go from ‘maybe I’ll do it’to ‘I’m doing it on X date, ‘you’re mentally in.” AGE DOESNT MATTER Kira is a black belt kickboxer who currently practices Krav Maga and encourages people to avoid pigeonholing themselves. “Remember, you are never too old to keep training, if that’s what you want. Hard-core sports help me feel young and alive. When I get a good hit at Krav Maga, it hurts, and I am completely 100 percent in the moment. I am not thinking about work or other stresses, just the here and now.” GETTING THE RIGHT GEAR It’s not just a marketing ploy from athletic gear companies – having the right equipment for a workout can be a game changer. Dalia says a common mistake people make is not wearing the rights shoes, “A big thing for me as a massage therapist and trainer is the right shoe. Footwear is so important when working out in terms of walking, running and any routine. Remember those are your weight-bearing joints and if you’re wearing shoes that aren’t right, you can increase your chances of developing shin splints, plantar fasciitis or just get uncomfortable blisters. Those shoes from high school track probably don’t fit you anymore, so invest in a new, properly fitted pair that’s geared towards your intended physical activity.” DON’T TAKE ON TO MUCH TO SOON It can be easy to get wrapped up in the idea of a new routine, but doing too much, too soon can lead to injury, which can sideline you for a long time. Dalia says, “Sometimes people will start out 58 | FUTUREFEMALEMAG.COM

on a plan that’s not on their level, and they move from being fairly sedentary to attending intense classes, working out four or five days in a row without breaks. This is not good for your body, increases the chance of injury and won’t likely lead to a sustainable program.” MAKE IT AN APPOINTMENT, LIKE THE DENTIST, A HAIRCUT OR ANYTHING ELSE Terra, whose athletic feats include a Mud Run and a 25km swimming fundraiser, says a few key factors were important to her success, “Treat it like it’s an appointment or work thing that you just have to do. And if you can, find like-minded people who are trying to meet the same or similar goals to keep you motivated, inspire you and keep you on track, or just keep you company. It’s hard to do, but make yourself and your goals a priority!” LISTEN TO YOUR BODY We’ve all heard the “no pain, no gain” adages when it comes to fitness and success, but there is a distinct difference between pushing to the end of a challenging set and pushing your body to the point of harm. Dalia works to remind people, “Our bodies are smart, and they are going to tell us if something doesn’t feel right. Fitness isn’t about putting yourself in an uncomfortable position where you’re going to be in pain or hurt yourself. Take it easy. Don’t compromise your health in pursuit of a look.” Dalia reminds her clients that the perfect fitness routine is about finding something that you want to continue doing because of the way it makes you feel. She adds, “I look at my family and it’s something I want to keep doing to be a good example for my son. We don’t think about it when we’re young, but there are certain illnesses that run in the family and it’s important to stay active and healthy as a preventable measure.” CONSISTENT BABY STEPS ARE BETTER THAN ZERO STEPS Drew, who is currently training for a Spartan Obstacle Course Race, says to avoid starting something that you can’t possibly maintain, because it’s setting yourself up for failure, not good fitness habits. “A lot of people jump into exercise programs that aren’t sustainable. If you don’t have time for 30 minutes a day, just do 10 minutes a day. Still better than nothing. I guarantee that 10 minutes of burpees is awesome exercise.” Lana, a marathon runner, says, “As for starting a fitness program, consistency is key. Start off small. Start off slow. Do it in 10 minutes or an hour. Just be consistent. By being consistent in working out at the beginning, you are creating a habitual behaviour. And soon when that habit sets in, it won’t feel like a chore to work out.”

BIKING FOR BEGINNERS Biking can be a fun and efficient way to step into an exercise program. Adam, an avid cyclist, says, “Bike touring is something anyone can do and doesn’t require any training if you’re relatively fit, and only moderate physical conditioning if you’re not. You can start off with some GO adventures. The GO train goes to Niagara and the 55km ride to St. Catharines is a good test. I did Seattle to San Diego on my first bike tour, and didn’t train.” SELECT A PROGRAM THAT FITS YOUR LIFE Allowing yourself some flexibility to find out how much of a time commitment you can really take on, and what time of day will be the best for your personal performance and ability to keep things consistent, is key to creating a program that can become a part of your lifestyle. Dalia says, “I have some clients who get excited because we’re going to start out a 5am training schedule, and they commit to 10 or 15 sessions instead of five to help them figure out whether or not an early morning workout is right for them. This gives them a few weeks to find out whether or not this is going to work with their life on a regular basis.” Dalia also recommends choosing workout locations that are on your subway route with optimal timing and location to work with your habits and routine. She adds, “If you know you’re going to be exhausted after work, do a lunch or morning workout instead of one after work.” BE IN THE MOMENT Lana has a tip for pushing through a challenging workout, and it involves breaking it down into smaller pieces. She says, “When I’m out on long training runs, and I start feeling tired or feel like quitting before I reach my goal for that particular run, I have a little mental game I use to renew my focus. Rather than focusing on getting the run over with, I focus on exactly what I see before me as I’m running by and say it out loud. For example, kid with balloon, or big furry dog, or man jaywalking while texting. It’s kind of Zen in the sense that you are focusing only on the present, what’s before you, and not your own ‘suffering’ or complaining. It makes the time fly by too.” ON TRAINING WITH KIDS It can be hard to find time to work out when you have kids. Drew has found that training outside while inviting others to participate alongside you can help, particularly when a child or baby is there. He says his friends often, “alternate watching their daughter in 10-minute shifts, and both manage to get in half of the workout,” which is much better than skipping the workout altogether. REQUIRED RUNNERS READING THAT WORKS We’ve all heard about books like Couch Potato to 5km, but when Adam started running he found other reads that provided the inspiration he needed. “For those who want to run, I recommend starting with The Beginning Runner’s Handbook by Ian MacNeil, which should get you to 10km through a walking/running routine, or for those who may find it a challenge, a beginning walking routine. Once at 10km, the Non-Runners Marathon Trainer by David Whitsett should help you do a full marathon. The key here is no time goal. It adequately trains you to be able to start and finish a marathon, both physically and mentally.”

REMEMBER TO MIX IT UP, SAFELY Variety is a great way to change things up and keep your pursuit of fitness fresh. Dalia says, “If you’re a runner and you’re always running, you’ll start feeling it in your joints because you need a balanced program, so try a boot camp, a spin class or a Zumba class to mix it up. This will help prevent wearing down your joints from doing the same workout all the time.” While online sources can be amazing to bring new elements into a stale routine, consider where the advice you’re getting is coming from. Drew says, “I’ve found good online resources from credible sources. Online sources can be helpful, but investigate who’s providing the advice. A lot of internet trainers have no clue what they’re talking about and if you follow their advice blindly without researching their credentials, they can give you terrible tips.” IT’S ABOUT MORE THAN A NUMBER One of my personal favourite inspirational running quotes says, “Remember, no matter how slow you go, you’re still lapping everyone sitting on the couch.” This applies to everything involved with training for an athletic feat. Sometimes you won’t make a specific time, but you tried. Finishing a challenging workout or race day event is a huge accomplishment – don’t lose sight of that because you’re playing the numbers game. Dalia says that too many people enter fitness to focus on the numbers on the scale, or an aspirational pair of jeans they wore in high school. Instead, she suggests having realistic and healthy goals, like fitting into a pair of pants you wore six months ago instead. She reminds women that strength training can increase their weight as they build muscle, and our menstrual cycle is also going to impact numbers on the scale. CLOSE TO HOME IS A CONSTANT REMINDER Going out to a gym that’s far away may be the obstacle getting in the way of your goals because it adds another, sometimes time consuming, step to your fitness routine. Drew says, “I’ve cancelled my gym membership and I work out at home. The initial investment of buying weights was worth it and my partner often comes downstairs to watch TV/hang out while I exercise. Some people think you need to be alone to exercise, but that isn’t the case and sometimes it’s nice to have company. It also saves time as my workouts don’t include travel.” MAKING GAME DAY A CELEBRATION There is something to be said about having personal cheerleaders attend your race. Erika recommends, “Having a race day cheering section. My partner and my brother’s wife came with us on race day and walked the course together so they could cheer us on at several of the challenges. It was awesome to see encouraging faces along the way. They also captured some great photos.” Remember to pay it forward and support your friends and family as well!


@truefityou FUTUREFEMALEMAG.COM | 59

credit: caroline hernandez


mothers &

mothers to be written by amy miller

Welcoming new life into the world is a BIG deal. Undoubtedly, your life is about to change. Maybe you’re feeling scared, excited, overwhelmed, or all of the above. These human beings depend on us for literally everything in their world. It’s a big job to take on, so I am here to offer advice that is based on my own experiences with motherhood. You can take it or leave it. It is ultimately your choice to decide what works and does not work for yourself and your family. This brings me to my first bit of advice:

1. Dealing with Unsolicited Advice

As a new mom, you will get advice from everyone around you— your mother, aunt, doctors, random people on the street, and the list goes on. It can become overwhelming when one person says not to co-sleep and then another person says you absolutely must co-sleep. Every baby is different, every mother is different. Find what works for you through trial and error. They aren’t the one who is spending their nights dealing with your crying newborn baby, so if you have to co-sleep to get some shut eye, go for it (safely)!

2. Ask for Help!

This is a big one. If someone offers to help you, take it. If someone wants to make you food, or hold the baby so you can shower, say yes. Your baby needs you, and in order for you to be able to care for your baby, you need to also care for you. Ask your partner for help, ask your family for help, and ask your friends for help. That saying ‘It takes a Village’ applies. While we are on the subject, it is important for me to mention that there are massage therapists who will come to your home. This is a great tool, especially for breastfeeding mothers, but really, all of us deserve this.

3. Soak up Every Minute

Take mental pictures, take actual pictures. Breathe in that newborn smell and hold on to what their hair smells like as you cuddle them to sleep in your arms. Put down the phone and be present. Turn off the 60 | FUTUREFEMALEMAG.COM

television and watch the way your partner connects with your child. These moments are priceless. It is okay to let visitors know you are having family time. These are moments you can’t get back and it’s absolutely worth it.

4. Find Your People

Join a mom group. Connect with people who understand what you are going through. You will make connections that will stay with you for years to come. In my experience, the relationships that I had with my friends pre-baby changed drastically, and I was so thankful for the moms I met through a local program. The babies grow together, we grow together, and they are so encouraging. Moments when I felt like I was failing as a mother, they were there to tell me otherwise and remind me that it’s simply just a hard job sometimes. Motherhood will test you in ways that you never knew you could be tested. This happens sometimes before you even get pregnant (if you are struggling or have struggled with infertility, you might understand what I mean. You still count in this.) The lengths we will go to fight and protect our babies even if they aren’t here yet, were here briefly, or haven’t been placed with us yet, are endless. Mothers are some of the toughest people you will ever have the pleasure of meeting. The days are long, but the years are short. Your babies love you and they are grateful for you. Sometimes you might end your day thinking ‘did I do enough?’ The answer is yes. The emotions you are feeling are totally normal. It’s normal to feel frustrated, angry, or upset. It’s normal to have a low sex drive and to not feel like yourself. You don’t have to always be glowing or smiling. You are doing an amazing job. If you feel like something isn’t right, it’s also not wrong to reach out and seek help for yourself. Sometimes it’s therapy, sometimes it’s medication, and sometimes it’s getting your hair done and a new bra. Whatever you need to do, there is no shame or reason to feel guilty. Trust your motherly instincts because no one will understand your babies or you… like you.

moving: ON COU RAGE, V U L N ERA B ILIT Y & F I N D I N G YO URS EL F AT HOME written by krista hovsepian credit: element5

I remember the night so clearly: I had been waiting for exactly 24 months for my US work papers to come through, and there, in the middle of the dance floor at a TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) party, my phone buzzed. I stood in my sheer red lace romper, teetering on my black leather six-inch high-heeled boots, blinking back tears of relief, joy, and excitement. ‘CONGRATULATIONS!!!’ the subject line of the email from my attorney read. I knew. I had finally let go of the outcome - the ever-present ache in my heart that begged me to head to LA - and boom. Just like that, I’d been approved. There’s an Agnes de Mille quote, “No trumpets sound when the important decisions of our life are made. Destiny is made silently.” Things just shift, and we move into the next level of being. We move from here to there in an instant. Be it with grace or in the messiest, clunkiest of ways, we move. I’m an actress - but not just an actress, an actress who boldly proclaimed at the age of three that she was moving to Hollywood to become a television star. I got the clarity part of master manifestation right from the start. And yet, despite my lifelong conviction and commitment to moving stateside, I can’t begin to tell you how many fearful, self-sabotaging thoughts popped into my head in the days that followed that life-altering email showing up in my inbox. Moving is scary. Moving to a new city is scary. Moving across the continent to a different country with the end goal of chasing down your childhood dreams is terrifying. It’s like a crash course in simultaneously acknowledging, facing, and getting super comfortable with many of your fears, STAT. Am I good enough - as an actress, as a woman, as a human being - to make it in this new place? Will it take long to make new friends? What if I don’t make any new friends? What if the few people I do know don’t want to hang out with me? What about dating? The cost of living? How much should I pack? What if I fall in love with the city, inexplicably must move home for some incredibly unfair reason and am forced to spend the rest of my life as a miserably bitter person who can’t make rent and spends her weeknights cooing her favourite neighbourhood racoon? Okay, getting a little extreme there. Our brains go to some wacky places when we’re faced with growth, positive change, and well, that thing we’ve been hustling to achieve forever. For weeks, every time one of my closest friends mentioned ‘the move’, I’d burst into tears, spiraling deep into what I like to call the vortex of trauma, drama, and shame. I’d started exploring LA three years prior to my move, meeting up with other creatives, checking out new acting studios, getting a lay of the land. The day after I passed all my support documents over to my attorney’s team, I also started boxing up all my personal belongings. The processing time for my specific visa was four to six weeks at the time. I should have been good to go a month or two after we filed, and I would’ve happily served up my left arm on a silver platter to have been able to jump right into the next chapter of my life. But there were delays. I lived out of boxes for two full years. I stayed, suspended between ‘what if ’ and ‘if/when’ in Toronto, declining work, RSVPing ‘no’ to countless weddings and events because that approval could arrive any day. I’d just finished my Masters in Berlin and was in the early stages of developing my first ever short-form series, Wholesome Foods, I Love You… Is That OK? (The offbeat comedy about a neurotic yoga teacher who sets out in search of love at her favourite organic supermarket… now streaming internationally on YouTube and in the US/UK on Amazon Prime). I was stuck in a swampy mixture of emotions that made me want to run towards my dreams and stay behind, all at once. Sometimes we stick with what’s comfortable, even if, when we’re honest with ourselves, deep down we’re painfully uncomfortable with the way things are. And so, despite my doubts, fears, and the growing list of reasons not to go, I forced myself to make the move. It was a huge transition, but once I settled, I felt like I’d finally made it home and was more comfortable than ever.

Eventually everything starts to take shape. It’s normal to occasionally feel sad that we can’t go back to how it was - not because moving again isn’t an option, but because the growth that comes with taking such a massive leap of faith is enormous. At the same time, we’re more easily connected now than ever. We must prioritize getting up, getting out, and living life beyond our screens. We must practice being vulnerable in the company of others and recognize how beautiful it is that we’re able to share experiences, images, and written exchanges with friends and family all over the world with just the click of a button. I couldn’t be happier or feel more at ease in LA. For three years, I’ve taken the lessons that this incredible journey has taught me: stay open, take risks, there’s great power in vulnerability, and the people who are truly meant to be in your life will find you, stay with you, and make keeping in touch an absolute priority no matter what. HERE ARE A FEW TIPS FOR ADJUSTING TO YOUR NEW LIFE: Remember you are Brave Be proud of yourself - and be gentle. The more self-compassion we cultivate, the softer, more open, and more vulnerable we’re able to be. And the deeper we’re able to fall into those states of being, the easier it is to connect with authentic, like-minded people and to make new friends. It’s highly likely that you’ll experience bouts of loneliness and frustration. There is a difference between being lonely and being alone. As you settle into work, focus on unpacking, and let go of what you’ve left behind. You might not have time or feel like going out a lot. There will be nights spent at home alone watching Netflix or re-reading your favourite books. Practice being comfortable with yourself. The company of others is great, but the better we get at enjoying time with ourselves, the less likely we are to pass up opportunities to go out and enjoy life to its fullest. Root yourself in a Community Choosing a new activity or growing interest is a great way to meet new people when you’re ready to put yourself out there. I found some cool yoga studios, registered for acting classes, and started going to concerts in the area, alone. Right off the bat, you know you’ve got something in common with the people you meet so it’s easy to strike up a conversation. Smile and make eye contact… breathe! If someone seems open, ask them if they’d like to connect. A quick add on social media, or phone number/email exchange is all it takes. Follow up by asking them if they’d like to meet up for another class. Or if the class or event you went to is their regular jam, see if they’d like to grab coffee or tea beforehand the next week. Vacation Ahead of Time If possible, use a little vacation time to get to know your new city before you move. I visited LA a lot. I imagined what it would be like to live there vs. just wandering around each area as a tourist. Taking the time to get to know the city before you go can ease anxiety in a thousand ways. Book a short-term apartment rental and live life ‘as if ’: go to the grocery store, make some meals at home, drop in to that dance class or gym around the corner, spend time sitting alone in traffic. If you’re not sure you’re ready to make the move, this can be an excellent way to feel things out. And if you are sure that you’re ready to go, creating a sense of familiarity before the details have been finalized can really help to quell any lurking fears or doubts. Have fun! This applies to pretty much any experience in life, but whenever I find myself getting stressed out or wound too tight, I ask myself, “Where can I find more joy in this moment?” Shifting our attention to even the smallest things, like really taking in the blossoms on a tree or smiling as a puppy playfully skips past us can make a world of difference. Do a silly dance, make a funny face… it might sound a little cliché, but trust me, it works.





written by lauren mackay photography by tara noelle

“How does it make you feel to do something good for others? It makes you feel good.” This is the underpinning of Char San Pedro’s Good to Be Good Foundation, a Toronto charity focused on lifting others in the community through a variety of partnerships, campaigns and advocacy work. A model, writer and art manager for an LA-based singer/songwriter and 920 Films contributor, San Pedro believes in using her multimedia platform to promote social justice. Early in her career, she worked at a film company and noticed her excitement in participating in the company’s charity events. While she learned a great deal from this work, she decided she’d like to contribute in a way that would allow the largest number of donations to remain with the charities. She felt she could best achieve this by creating a “small but mighty” grassroots foundation based on her values. She believes it is our personal responsibility to contribute to our shared lives through giving, and credits her grandmother, who also works in the charity space, for instilling in her the drive toward a life of service. “Small actions can go a long way. If we consistently do small things with the great love and great humanity that is within us, that is how we connect and make change.” Good to Be Good is gearing up for its sixth charity drive in two years in December, held in support of Women’s Habitat. “We are all connected and deserving of peace, justice and love, but our basic needs have to be met first.” This particular drive will be a one-day event collecting donations and items needed by Women’s Habitat and includes a panel discussion around intersectional feminism. “It is important to begin this discussion from a place acknowledging the strength of women, as opposed to their vulnerability. All women are strong, and really, at our core, we are all storytellers. We want to come together and share stories and connect. We want to get into some of the challenges facing women – these women. And we don’t want to forget to listen. Everyone needs to be heard, to be seen.” In addition to Good to Be Good’s December drive, San Pedro will be partnering with photographer Tara Noelle this fall. The two will gather a diverse group of women for a photo shoot. The photo shoot, the second of its

“SMALL ACTIONS CAN GO A LONG WAY. IF WE CONSISTENTLY DO SMALL THINGS WITH THE GREAT LOVE AND GREAT HUMANITY THAT IS WITHIN US, THAT IS HOW WE CONNECT AND MAKE CHANGE.” kind, is an awareness shoot. “In this case, our message is that together women are undivided. Our aim is to use art to raise our profile and amplify our voices. With charity, action is central, but we also need to be clearly communicating why people need our help. It’s all connected, just like we are. Power and hope knows no gender. We all carry this within us. Women’s existence is a responsibility for all. The world becomes a better place when we cultivate what makes us all truly human.” WOMEN’S HABITAT NEEDS:

Gift cards TTC tickets and tokens Toiletries Non-perishable food items Pads and tampons Diapers and formula


@sanpedrochar www.charsanpedro.com


managing expectations: written by emily rzeznicki Everyone has their own definition of success. I can’t tell you what yours looks like, that’s up to you. Achieving personal success is exactly that, personal. How can anyone attempt to dictate someone else’s goals and desires? Aspects of our lives that are highly intimate and once again, personal. For some the search for success can be broken up into time periods, for others it is a lifelong journey. Ever changing and evolving based on new experiences and adapted ideas. I’m a baker and cook. I have been in the culinary industry for 10 years and have worked in many different kitchens around Toronto. Personal success for me meant learning and perfecting as many different areas of the kitchen and business as possible. The moniker ‘Jack of all Trades’ appealed to me early in my career. I wanted to become indispensable and get to the point where I was choosing what job I wanted instead of having to take any job I could get because I needed it. Success in my career means working in a field that I am strongly passionate about. Even if that meant a less steady income and, sometimes, staggering work hours. I have achieved both things and am now applying my skills to a new dream of one day opening my own business. A new goal I am working toward for the next few years. The journey to finding personal success can be daunting. It is easy to put unnecessary pressure on ourselves and to believe that we need to get success by a certain age. Or to have it already. We take for granted the work we have already put in to making our lives what we want them to be. I’m not an expert on personal success, but I would like to think that I am my most trusted source to go to when I’m debating about what I want to do to be successful in MY life. If you are embarking on your own personal endeavour, here are some reminders to help keep your perspective and tenacity strong reminders I still need to keep in mind to this day. 1. Keep your Process Goals Small, Realistic and Obtainable You don’t need to shoot for the stars right away or try to get a lot done in a short time period. Break down the overall goal into small steps. As you complete each one you will gain confidence and trust that you’re moving forward rather than feeling defeated that you didn’t complete the big goal right off the bat. Even the smallest step taken towards completing your goal is an important one. 64 | FUTUREFEMALEMAG.COM

a mental checklist for working towards personal success

2. Trust your Gut When it comes to personal development, it is easy to give ourselves over to the barrage of advice and influences given by friends, family, and even social media concerning what we ‘should’ be doing to achieve success. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the right advice for YOU. Trust that you know yourself better than anyone else does, and even if it seems like you are taking the path less travelled, it doesn’t mean it’s the wrong path. 3. Success is a Marathon, not a Sprint Achieving goals, big or small, takes time. Give yourself the ability to be flexible with your timeline and don’t beat yourself up if something takes longer than expected. Anything worth doing well takes time and, most importantly, patience. Not only with the process but with ourselves. You can’t and won’t be perfect all the time. 4. Take Breaks and Reward Yourself Our bodies and our minds need rest, especially when it comes to making significant changes in our lives. Taking care of your mental health is key. Allow yourself to step away from the process to rest and refuel for the next step. As well, give yourself a reward for the work you have completed. It’s important to boost ourselves up and acknowledge the work we have done, in whatever form that may be. 5. Accept Help We all have egos. When it comes to achieving personal success we all want to be able to do it on our own. It gives us a sense of validation and empowerment. But sometimes we need to let go of our egos and realize that some things need the aid of others. There is nothing wrong with accepting help and getting outside encouragement when working towards a goal. It can make the path to personal sucess easier and less isolating. Asking for help will never take away from the fact that YOU are making the change in your life and YOU are doing the work to achieve that change. You don’t need to do it alone. If you are unsure about what personal success means to you that is okay. Give yourself the opportunity to experiment with different challenges and don’t be afraid to change your mind. Then change it again. Evolve, adapt, and reflect. You will find the answer in time. And as you search let these reminders be a small guide to keep you pushing forward.



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