an american girl living in toronto • i'm a hairstylist & writer in love with my canadian husband, food, flowers, flowers in my food, lipstick, books, dad jokes, a good mimosa
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thanks to zach for this beautiful piece of art
Last year after a few months behind the chair, I ended up leaving the salon I was working at, a great salon, to work at Aveda Institute in South Florida. A lot of people I know thought it was a really weird move for me, moving into a retail and eventing kind of role but it had been something i was attracted to for a while. I love Aveda as a brand, as a company, and I ended up learning not only about salon management on a huge scale (institute management!) but marketing within the brand, event planning, how to lead a team. I knew that by going back to study something completely different from literature would give me a variety of opportunities in the beauty industry but I didn’t know how much I was going to enjoy and thrive in this specific area. I worked my ass off, I came to work early every day and stayed late and enjoyed it, I asked questions, I learned as much as I could from my boss and from regional directors, I volunteered myself and my time and my energy because I liked who I was working for and primarily because for the first time in a very long time, I loved what I was doing; I wanted to go to work every day, I craved it. I was so excited about my move to Toronto for personal reasons but I was sad professionally, sad to leave behind a team I’d grown with and helped grow and sad to have to start all over.
Yesterday I accepted an offer to be the retail team leader for the institute here in Toronto, a job I didn’t think I’d get for a long while. The trajectory for this job is usually about three years in my old role and I made this jump to a really important job in about 9-10 months all told and I am shocked and thrilled. I’m shocked that this job I really wanted for the longest time happened to open up a few weeks after I moved, I’m shocked that I could be that lucky. I’m not as shocked that I got the job, that my Aveda contacts did so much legwork for me and vouched for me and believed in me.
The interview process took almost a month and I was a wreck. I have been throwing up regularly as my anxiety ramped up to full speed. I even got a nose bleed one day. I had never wanted anything this much except for my immigration approval and I just worried it wouldn’t happen. This has been such a good year for me and Ian, and a little part of me thought, “maybe you’re not going to get this, you’ve gotten a lot of good lately,” like just so worried. I had never been this stressed about getting a job before, I’d never wanted something so bad. I feel relieved and proud and excited, so relieved.

I am weird about talking about my achievements but I know how hard I worked and how well trained and ready I am to rise to this challenge. I interviewed with six people for this job and every time I went in there and told them exactly what I could do for them and that no one else would be able to do this as well as I can, fully believing it. I teared up on the phone yesterday when my new boss called me to offer me the job and told me that every single person I had met with had unanimously agreed that there was no other candidate that came close to me. I feel strange and braggy even saying these things but I know that this isn’t something just being handed to me, it’s something I have busted my ass for.
I used to feel bad for being a person who got so much of their self worth from their career and really drew a lot of their identity from what they did but there’s no shame in that or in whatever way you form your sense of self. I’m so excited to be in Toronto, I’m so excited to be leading this department, I’m so excited to keep learning and growing with Aveda and in general. Ahhhh!!!

thanks to zach for this beautiful piece of art

Last year after a few months behind the chair, I ended up leaving the salon I was working at, a great salon, to work at Aveda Institute in South Florida. A lot of people I know thought it was a really weird move for me, moving into a retail and eventing kind of role but it had been something i was attracted to for a while. I love Aveda as a brand, as a company, and I ended up learning not only about salon management on a huge scale (institute management!) but marketing within the brand, event planning, how to lead a team. I knew that by going back to study something completely different from literature would give me a variety of opportunities in the beauty industry but I didn’t know how much I was going to enjoy and thrive in this specific area. I worked my ass off, I came to work early every day and stayed late and enjoyed it, I asked questions, I learned as much as I could from my boss and from regional directors, I volunteered myself and my time and my energy because I liked who I was working for and primarily because for the first time in a very long time, I loved what I was doing; I wanted to go to work every day, I craved it. I was so excited about my move to Toronto for personal reasons but I was sad professionally, sad to leave behind a team I’d grown with and helped grow and sad to have to start all over.

Yesterday I accepted an offer to be the retail team leader for the institute here in Toronto, a job I didn’t think I’d get for a long while. The trajectory for this job is usually about three years in my old role and I made this jump to a really important job in about 9-10 months all told and I am shocked and thrilled. I’m shocked that this job I really wanted for the longest time happened to open up a few weeks after I moved, I’m shocked that I could be that lucky. I’m not as shocked that I got the job, that my Aveda contacts did so much legwork for me and vouched for me and believed in me.

The interview process took almost a month and I was a wreck. I have been throwing up regularly as my anxiety ramped up to full speed. I even got a nose bleed one day. I had never wanted anything this much except for my immigration approval and I just worried it wouldn’t happen. This has been such a good year for me and Ian, and a little part of me thought, “maybe you’re not going to get this, you’ve gotten a lot of good lately,” like just so worried. I had never been this stressed about getting a job before, I’d never wanted something so bad. I feel relieved and proud and excited, so relieved.

I am weird about talking about my achievements but I know how hard I worked and how well trained and ready I am to rise to this challenge. I interviewed with six people for this job and every time I went in there and told them exactly what I could do for them and that no one else would be able to do this as well as I can, fully believing it. I teared up on the phone yesterday when my new boss called me to offer me the job and told me that every single person I had met with had unanimously agreed that there was no other candidate that came close to me. I feel strange and braggy even saying these things but I know that this isn’t something just being handed to me, it’s something I have busted my ass for.

I used to feel bad for being a person who got so much of their self worth from their career and really drew a lot of their identity from what they did but there’s no shame in that or in whatever way you form your sense of self. I’m so excited to be in Toronto, I’m so excited to be leading this department, I’m so excited to keep learning and growing with Aveda and in general. Ahhhh!!!

lucky scarf, lucky lips, old faithful hair

lucky scarf, lucky lips, old faithful hair

imathers:

So, I know this has come up a few times recently, but today is actually a big make-or-break day for Anaïs and myself (photo of our wedding day above for reference). Any good thoughts you wanted to have for either/both of us from around 11 until, hmm, 2 or so would be hugely appreciated.

leave it to Ian to do sweet things like this in the most adorable possible way. think a good thought for team escomathers today (and the next few days even), there are some good things on our horizon.

imathers:

So, I know this has come up a few times recently, but today is actually a big make-or-break day for Anaïs and myself (photo of our wedding day above for reference). Any good thoughts you wanted to have for either/both of us from around 11 until, hmm, 2 or so would be hugely appreciated.

leave it to Ian to do sweet things like this in the most adorable possible way. think a good thought for team escomathers today (and the next few days even), there are some good things on our horizon.

I’ve had this stone I grabbed from Lake Huron for a few weeks now in a dress pocket and I’m holding it today for some calmness. Think a good thought for me today ok?

I’ve had this stone I grabbed from Lake Huron for a few weeks now in a dress pocket and I’m holding it today for some calmness. Think a good thought for me today ok?

"Hi een." #eloise

We spent the weekend in Kincardine with family for Ian and his brother Ben’s birthday and we had a really nice time. It was just what we needed (especially for me right before my job interview on Tuesday which ps went very well and we are in the process of setting up the times for the next stage of interview and I’ll report back when I know more). 

  • I love the old houses near the beach in Kincardine. It’s this little beach town on the shores of Lake Huron and it’s lovely. Ian and I both grew up so close to the beach, right near water, ocean and lake respectively, and I think it sort of shapes a lot about who we are and what’s important to us environmentally. I mean, even now we live maybe a 5 minute drive from Lake Ontario.
  • Corn! Queen Anne’s Lace! Ian doesn’t quite understand my excitement about these new things in my surroundings. Corn!
  • Station Beach in Kincardine is lovely. Lake Huron was truly gorgeous on Saturday and every other day I’ve seen it including the day we got engaged there.
  • Ian looks much cuter post swim than I do but it’s ok.
  • We had fish and chips at one of my favorite places ever, the Erie Belle. If you find yourself in Kincardine, eat there.
  • We had dinner with Ian’s mom, stepdad, and sister at the Bruce when we arrived on Friday evening and I had chicken, fig, brie, and asparagus and it was scrumptious.
  • I am a spoiled Florida girl used to soft sandy beaches where a shell is the toughest thing you’ll find. No one warned me about all of the fucking rocks, like all of them, like so many damn rocks, as I waded into Lake Huron. After a few steps, I just dived over the rocks and swam in because holy shit. I now understand why my mom was always a lunatic about making me wear swim shoes as a kid. 
  • This little shelter at the beach was so lovely. I mean, what a sweet place to smack some sand out of your sandals.
  • Flowers + my phone = you’re going to get a photo of flowers
  • These girls got in my shot but then it seemed to work out even better. Much like life? I know, I sound like a fortune cookie but that’s been the case lately and just as I look backwards; sometimes the unexpected is just even better than what you had planned.

I’m trying to catch up on the last week (which you can always follow along with on instagram) and here’s some shots from last Thursday’s girls night in at my sister in law’s house: a gorgeous Ontario dusk, a fire, berry sangria, and the Canadian summer lady footwear of choice: birkenstocks.

got an interview I’m going to kill this afternoon. confidence. confidence.
think good thoughts for me. also, what color lipstick should i wear?!

got an interview I’m going to kill this afternoon. confidence. confidence.

think good thoughts for me. also, what color lipstick should i wear?!

to Ian on his 33rd birthday

image

to Ian on his 32nd birthday

Ian is the kind of man who doesn’t roll his eyes when I discuss an article I read about parenting and instead discusses with me his own thoughts about how to raise our as of yet unborn children. Ian has a baseball bat in the bedroom in case someone breaks in. Ian will always take a bigger than anticipated bite of food i offer him but he will always let me have the last bite of his food no matter what. Ian somehow finds it adorable when I’m cranky. Ian thinks I’m beautiful with makeup, without makeup, when my makeup is melting off my face, when I have my period, when I am bloated, when I have gained weight, when I have lost weight, when I don’t like myself very much at all. Ian is always seeing things in the least judgmental light possible even when I am dying for him to be as gossipy and horrible person as I am. Ian calls all babies “kid” like a 1930s gangster.

Ian worries about taking care of me, taking care of our future. Ian always takes care of me. Ian will stay home from trivia when I have a fever to spoon me and rock me like a baby because he knows it makes me feel better. Ian is a very good cook and will make dinner even when he gets home from work. Ian looks great in plaid. Ian is really good with parents. Ian is really good with my friends. Ian is really good at making sure I don’t close off too many people when I feel more annoyed than ever at the world. Ian is the master of the leisurely grocery shopping trip. Ian will wake up at 8 am on a Saturday morning to take me to a flower market. Ian really enjoys when I have a cough and clear my throat because then he can do an impersonation of my impersonation of BIll Cosby saying “Jello pudding pops!” Ian sorts through a lot of links of baby clothes I find adorable despite the fact that we don’t want a kid for a few years. Ian is very, very patient with me.

Ian likes good chocolate. Ian likes sugary tea. Ian is pretty fly for a white guy. Ian is the kind of guy who will get your birth chart read because he knows it’s important to you. Ian makes the best guacamole ever. Ian lets me talk to him about what’s going on with Pretty Little Liars even though he doesn’t watch it. Ian is a gentleman. Ian is the best at hand holding. Ian is great at kissing my hand when I need it. Ian is as old as Jesus was when he died so I mean, good job, Ian. Ian prefers pie to cake. Ian often gets mad at Food Network. Ian gets really annoyed when I don’t read a book he recommends to me right away (I will, I promise.) Ian sunburns faster than anyone I’ve ever known. Ian has the best brain and heart of anyone I’ve ever known. Ian will call me if he doesn’t hear from me for a while (and vice versa) because he worries about me. Ian reminds me of who I am when life makes me forget. Ian, in every single way, everyday, reminds me why I moved as far as I did. Ian makes us stronger by letting me be strong and confident and me. Ian is my reason.

Happy birthday, my love. It took a long time to come but this really is our year. To so many more.

addendum: extra Eloise stories

  • my mom called earlier and I was doing something so I put her on speakerphone and she said hi to Eloise and Eloise got very shy and then she finally said hi in this little squeaky voice, so cute. When I hung up, she was like, “mommy?” and I said “that was my mommy” and she said “Ees mommy?” Dead.
  • Eloise was very excited to see Ian when he arrived on Friday. her mom told her, “you’re gonna see nana and papa tomorrow guess who you’re going to see when you wake up from your nap? Een!” and Eloise’s face was like the heart eyes emoji. When she got up after her nap and I walked into her room, the first words out of her mouth were “Een?”
  • i took a video of her playing for Ian and said “say hi to uncle Een” and she was like “Een?!” and came over to my phone and was like looking for him in my phone
  • she thinks all babies are new dolls for her. like, she holds her baby cousin jack and is like, oh sweet, new baby. last week, the family dog, molly, licked jack’s face and then Eloise licked his face too. i couldn’t stop laughing.

I have a job interview on Tuesday and I’m very excited about it. Think all the good thoughts for me. Until then, I’m backup babysitter for my niece Eloise whose daycare is closed for August. It’s a perk of not working yet. 

I never expected to be an aunt. I hoped I would be a mom one day but I didn’t want to expect being an aunt because it was a possibility albeit rare that I could marry an only child; luckily, I did not. Through Ian, I have four nieces and nephews and while I love them all, I am closest to Eloise because she is the one of the four who doesn’t live a lot of the time in Australia. I mean, I kind of think I would adore her just as much regardless because she is just the best kid ever. Like me, she is a Capricorn only child and just the sweetest.

I was really nervous about watching her entirely alone. Not because I don’t know how to care for kids but just this sense of responsibility and inadequacy I have about somehow messing things up with kids. You can imagine the anxiety I feel about being a good parent one day. Yet somehow, I felt even more nervous about being an aunt and watching Eloise because she’s not mine from day one, I can’t like know her like the back of my hand the way parents know their kid, and I just wanted to be sure to walk that fine aunt line of being fun and also being an actual, you know, helpful adult. We fared pretty well, especially since Eloise has parents who have her on a great schedule and diet and who do all these things to make sure she is just the chillest.

Two days of watching her made me respect what parents do so much. Feeding her, changing her, playing with her, reading with her, running around after her, putting her down for naps, all of this, is just… it’s a lot. It’s not hard but it’s nonstop, even with a good kid. I sat down while she napped and was like holy shit I’m pooped but I also felt a sense of oh my god I’m doing this and no one is maimed and she actually seems pretty happy around me. The second day I put her down for her nap and after I put her bunny and moosey and her three blankets in her crib with her and said good night, only to hear a tiny sleepy voice say “g’night, love you;” needless to say, my heart grew more than three sizes. 

She’s so smart and creative and funny and playing with her and watching her play is just the best. I sat while she splashed around her water table on Friday, my aunt’s birthday, and I felt a lot like she must have with me and I felt so lucky to be able to share this with my niece, to share this kind of relationship. Reading together, letting her “tattoo” me as she knows a lot of her family, especially her parents, have a lot of tattoos, making the same faces some of her toys make together, it’s interesting and rewarding in a way I never expected. I’m glad I can be her auntie ees (she calls Ian “een”).

It’ll be a few years before Ian and I have kids but I feel more confident that I will do the job some justice. I know I will be anxious and worry because you can’t be a new person just like that but I feel like I can do right by a kid and help them grow into whoever they’re going to be. I’m glad Ian and I can do that in a smaller way for our nieces and nephews, that we can learn our own capacity to care, to grow, to try to know these brand new shiny people and see who they’re going to be. 

my aunt was my very first favorite person on earth and today would have been her birthday. I try to be like her in my life: brave and kind. miss you every day. 

my aunt was my very first favorite person on earth and today would have been her birthday. I try to be like her in my life: brave and kind. miss you every day. 

There has never been a more beautiful package in the history of anything. Love you and thank you, Keri! south Florida girls have each others’ backs.

There has never been a more beautiful package in the history of anything. Love you and thank you, Keri! south Florida girls have each others’ backs.

I don’t know what it is, if it’s that I’m more peaceful here or if I’ve just started becoming more comfortable in my own skin but I don’t hate my body nearly as much as I used to. I’ve been sick about, oh, two and a half times in the past month and my attempts of exercise have been interrupted by those illnesses and family and socializing and just so many things. Ian and I went to exercise today when he got home from work and I was just winded, like my lungs and my body could not take much. It makes sense with all the phlegm that’s been in my body and the hacking cough I’ve had and the ages without exercise before I moved but this is the moment in the past where I would just begin to actively hate myself, like, something inside me holding a tiny chisel working away at all the things I believe to be true and good about myself. It didn’t happen today though. 

In fact, I had a day filled with anxiety and just a sense of being so much harder on myself than I ever need to be and I didn’t drink enough water or eat or do anything that was really good for me. In the past, I’d think, “well, yeah, of course this happened to you, you fucking piece of garbage” but lately, I’ve grown to not only make peace but be respectful of my body and what it can do. That it is and has been healthy for a long time. That it is loved not just by me but by those who love and care about me. That it is strong and resilient, surviving stress and abuse and a bunch of stupid things over time. That it can change, if that’s what you want, but you have to give it time; you have to give yourself time. That even if it’s not the body you ideally want, it’s still yours and it’s still worthy of your time and respect and love.

My friend Emily took time from being a new mom to type up her chicken paprika recipe I adore for me and last night I made it for Ian with some garlic balsamic green beans because summer is green bean season. Ian loved it. It tasted just as good today for leftovers.

My friend Emily took time from being a new mom to type up her chicken paprika recipe I adore for me and last night I made it for Ian with some garlic balsamic green beans because summer is green bean season. Ian loved it. It tasted just as good today for leftovers.