Orange you glad you came to the Pride Parade

Last Sunday began with banana french toast, then to the Pride Parade and ended with pasta, espresso and Ikea- and all those fun events required a fun outfit!

My outfit is probably one of my simplest looks. I don't tend to do simple but by pairing three bold pieces, I still felt like my old busy self. The hair style was inspired by a street style look I saw last week on one of my favourite blogs, hel-looks. With short hair, I found that I really missed having a bun on top of my head so this look allowed me to have that. 

The Pride parade was a sea of rainbows, glitter, and dancing fruit apparently (Loblaws float). It was my first time going and the atmosphere was simply awesome. After Pride, me and my friends decided to keep the party going by heading to Ikea. There I found almost everything I needed for my new apartment and a few extra goodies too!
dress: h&m, $30 purse: value village, $6 shoes: zara, $40 watch: shoppers, $5 ring: glebe garage sale, $3

All pictures taken by Lisa Kidd and myself. 

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Mental Health

This past month has been an absolute roller coaster. I moved out on August 1 with my twin sister and two weeks ago, my grandma suffered a heart attack (she's getting better now).  My mental and physical health have definitely been tested these past few weeks and I have to say with the support of family, friends, and a lot of coffee, I've managed to stay pretty positive. With all of that, my blog was put on the back burner. While I've had no time to post, I'm happy to announce that I'm getting back into the groove.

Today I am introducing the topic of mental health to my blog.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nurse, or psychiatrist of any sort. I am simply speaking to my experience working in the mental health field (as a communications assistant) and from life experience with family members and friends who have a mental illness. Please accept my blog posts simply as opinion pieces rather than medical advice. If you have a mental health concern, I urge you to speak to someone about it. To learn more about mental health, visit: www.ementalhealth.ca. 

As you can probably tell, fashion is a big passion of mine. I love the way clothes help me to feel confident, beautiful and unique. I believe that clothes and fashion are a part of who I am and are a way of expressing my personality and creativity. I strongly believe that how you feel on the outside is linked to how you feel on the inside and vice-versa. Feeling beautiful and loving the way I look certainly helps me to feel confident on the inside. Just like everyone else, I don't always love my outfit or my size or how my hair looks but I try my best to love myself no matter what. Feeling happy and confident reflects how we see ourselves. This is why our mental health is so important: it affects more than just the brain.

Mental health is something I'm very passionate about. This passion, however, is not fueled by fur or sequins but by experience. I've witnessed a number of family members and friends struggle with mental illness as well as heard the stories of many others. While a mental illness can be treated and symptoms can be managed, a lot of people who struggle with mental illness say the stigma attached to it is worse than the illness itself. This just makes me mad. It's hard enough having any illness without feeling scared or ashamed to talk about it and get help. I think the stigma associated with mental illness comes from many things, one being the fact that it deals with emotions and emotions are often tied to personality traits and characteristics of people. And while a mental illness can sometimes, and often times, be misunderstood as having bad character traits or personality flaws, it's important to remember that a mental illness is just that: an illness. And a mental illness is hard enough without having to deal with the judgement of others. My experience living with family who has a mental illness is where my passion to get involved came about. 

From seeing the way a mental illness affects day-to-day life plus having to deal with the stigma, I've become very passionate about promoting awareness, reducing stigma as well as being a lot more understanding as a person. The stigma really fires me up and makes me mad but I've managed to turn my anger into a drive to create change.

I've wanted to introduce this topic with you for a while now yet couldn't figure out how to introduce the topic of mental health into a fashion blog. However, I knew I had to find a way as mental health is literally as big (if not bigger) part of my life as fashion. As I got to thinking, I realized that fashion and mental health are connected; it's the connection between physical health and mental health. Feeling stressed, upset, or anxious can be emotionally and physically draining. And low energy leads to less motivation to take care of your physical health, and in turn a reduced level of confidence. When you dislike how you look, it can affect how you feel. I want to explore the two topics together and hopefully give you some insight into mental health and why it's so important to take good care of your mind. I also want let you know that you're strong, you're beautiful and you matter.

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