We Dream of Happiness

PHUKET, THAILAND 2009

This dreary March weather in Toronto makes me miss tropical climates like Thailand!

I want to lay on the beach and stare at stretches of white hot sand and crystal blue water; I want to eat spicy seafood dishes at outdoor restaurants that line the streets of Thailand; I want to play with elephants and monkeys at animal sanctuaries.

I really want to be anywhere but here right now - away from the stormy weather and my downward spiraling mental state. 

I haven’t blogged for months. So, I’m very happy to say that I am slowly trying to clamor my way out of this hole by booking two vacations for the near future:

Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic in April

New York City (again!) in July

Things are looking up! =)

INSPIRATIONAL SUNDAYS - BRIDGEWATER BROTHERS

This heartwarming news clip has gone viral for the past three weeks. 

The video speaks for itself, so for those who have not seen this yet, please hit play!

Nowadays, bullying seems worse than what I remember as an elementary school child. Harassment is now goes beyond the playground too. With the popularity of Myspace, Facebook, YouTube and other similar social media outlets, bullies can strike at any time. 

More kids seemed to be ridiculed, while less peers seem to be standing up for them. A lot of situations have escalated to unnecessary lengths, resulting in permanent mental scarring and even suicide. The growing population of internet bullies (of all ages) make the hope for a healthy social environment seem foolish. 

Then, I saw this video.

And it has restored my faith in humanity. Without violence, these “brothers” show their support against bullying. It’s miraculous to me that instead of resorting to fists, these young boys have found an extremely creative and intelligent way to defend their friend. It’s touching to know that some kids are growing up with good morals and ethics. I applaud these amazing children for what they’ve done and their great parents for their guidance and support!

(Video credit to WCVB Channel 5 Boston: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gq7ZgXz_YLc)

INSPIRATIONAL SUNDAYS - FABULOUS FASHIONISTAS 

Last week, I saw this enlightening documentary about six very different, but incredibly fashion forward women between the ages of 70-91. 

In today’s society, growing and looking old is a terrifying concept. I vividly remember calling my mom and crying after a college lecture one day. That afternoon, I had learned in skin care class that the first signs of aging happen around twenty years of age. I was turning nineteen that year. I remember that in between sobbing, I kept repeating how I didn’t want to age and how afraid I was of looking ugly. This piece of information was horrifying news at the time. Looking back, it was undoubtedly silly. But it wasn’t unrealistic to feel that way in the world where beautiful people on magazines seem lacklustre in person. 

Despite the age of drastic photo retouching and severe plastic surgery, these lovely documentary subjects have remained natural and uncompromisingly true to themselves. Each woman featured is of a different social class and upbringing. Every one has their own unique style. But they all represent fearlessness and individuality through their unified reluctance to let age dictate how they should dress or who they should be. 

Although some may view these women as eccentric, I for one find them inspiring and refreshing. Not all grandmothers are quiet, cookie-baking old ladies. Some, like these ones, are vibrant forces of nature.

Everyone has one life to live as they please. Conventions should not bind us to one specific way of life. Age, race or gender should not be restricting factors on our attitudes. No one should dictate the way we dress.

(Video link credit and article source: 

http://seniorplanet.org/dont-dress-your-age-six-inspiring-women-say-no-to-drab/)

INSPIRATIONAL SUNDAYS - AMAZING PARENTS

This week, aside from cool artistic talents, I also wanted to focus on other kinds of inspirational people - amazing parents. 

The above letters have been trending on the internet for a while now. Even so, I still want to devote a post to these wonderful and loving individuals. They have truly exemplified the type of support and unconditional love that all children deserve and should take after.

The first letter is from a grandfather to his daughter after she kicked out her son for coming out. Not only did the grandfather take him in, he wrote this powerful message to show his support and acceptance.

The second letter was written by a dad to his son upon overhearing his son’s phone conversation about coming out of the closet. The letter is both humourous and heartfelt.

The last letter, unlike the previous two, is not about the LGBTQ community. However, everyone can learn a lesson from it. From a loving father to his little girl, this message is about knowing your self-worth and to wholeheartedly love yourself. Because you shouldn’t need or rely on ways to continue to keep “The One” interested. He/She will love you for all the wonderfully positive and frustratingly negative things about you. 

These people and their letters give me hope. Despite how we were all brought up, we should all strive to be as loving, accepting and supportive to the future generation as these individuals. 

(Photo credits and article sources:

Letter 1 - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/02/grandpa-letter-gay-grandson_n_4029750.html

Letter 2 - http://gawker.com/5990745/dad-overhears-sons-plans-to-come-out-assuages-his-fears-with-heartwarming-letter-of-acceptance

Letter 3 - http://drkellyflanagan.com/2013/04/17/a-daddys-letter-to-his-little-girl-about-her-future-husband/)

Walking ten thousand miles of the world is better than reading ten thousand scrolls.

Chinese Proverb (via travel-quotes)

My dad always said that…

annstreetstudio:

“Everything about autumn is perfect to me. Wooly jumpers, Wellington boots, scarves, thin first, then thick, socks. The low slanting light, the crisp mornings, the chill in my fingers, those last warm sunny days before the rain and the wind. Her moody hues and subdued palate punctuated every now and again by a brilliant orange, scarlet or copper goodbye. She is my true love.”

― Alys Fowler

Central Park in the Fall… Happy Thanksgiving! 

WANDERLUST WEDNESDAYS - FALL IN NEW YORK

My favourite city! <3

INSPIRATIONAL SUNDAYS - ZHENG CHUNHUI

Earlier on this month, famous wood carver, Zheng Chunhui earned a Guiness World Record for his newest creation - a 40 foot long hand carved sculpture. Using one tree trunk, he spent four years creating a sculpture rendition of the 1,000 year old Chinese scroll painting, Along the River During the QingMing Festival. Zheng’s piece includes detailed carvings of boats, bridges, and 550 individual people. 

Information sources and photo credits: 

http://www.viralnova.com/tree-trunk-carving/

http://twistedsifter.com/2013/11/worlds-longest-wood-carving-zheng-chunhui/

http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/zheng-chunhui-guinness-book-worlds-longest-wood-sculpture

To view the original Along the River During the QingMing Festival scrolling painting, click here:

http://twistedsifter.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/alongtheriver_qingming.jpg

INSPIRATIONAL SUNDAYS - KRISTY MITCHELL Part I

*Please Note: All text below are from www.DailyMail.co.uk*

Kirsty Mitchell’s late mother Maureen was an English teacher who spent her life inspiring generations of children with imaginative stories and plays. Following Maureen’s death from a brain tumour in 2008, Kirsty channelled her grief into her passion for photography.

She retreated behind the lens of her camera and created Wonderland, an ethereal fantasy world. The photographic series began as a small summer project but grew into an inspirational creative journey.

'Real life became a difficult place to deal with, and I found myself retreating further into an alternative existence through the portal of my camera,' said the artist.

'This escapism grew into the concept of creating an unexplained storybook without words, dedicated to her [my mother], that would echo the fragments of the fairytales she read to me constantly as a child.'

To read the rest of the article and see more lovely pictures, please visit here: 
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2145760/Wonderland-Kirsty-Mitchell-heart-breakingly-beautiful-photographic-series-memory-extraordinary-life.html

For Kristy Mitchell’s official website: http://www.kirstymitchellphotography.com

(Photo Credits:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk

http://www.kirstymitchellphotography.com/galleries.php)

INSPIRATIONAL SUNDAYS - KYLE THOMPSON SELF PORTRAITS

Kyle Thompson discovered his fascination with photography while in college. He wanted to experiment further with this medium of art, but his anxiety prevented him from recruiting models. Instead, he chose to capture self-portraits to refine his skills.

He frequently explored quiet forests, mountain tops and abandoned houses to use as backdrops for his pictures. The combination of Kyle’s talent and creativity, mixed with the beautiful scenery resulted in a series of emotionally powerful images. The otherworldly creations instantly went viral on Reddit and other websites. Upon the discovery of his work’s growing popularity, he has decided to become a full-time photographer. And we’re all glad for it! =)

To view more of Kyle Thompson’s beautiful photography, please visit his official site: http://www.kylethompsonphotography.com/

(Photo Credit:

http://www.viralnova.com/kyle-thompson-photography/)