Why I'm not Passive Aggressive Anymore


[All photos taken by Bratty B]

I was once extremely passive aggressive. My mum (while quiet and unassuming) has an extremely strong personality. While she made an effort to ensure my voice was heard, I also knew my place as her child. No arguments. Her way was the way. I also grew up with very accepting friends until I attended hell on earth or as we call it in Toronto, Middle School.


That cocktail of an experience meant I had trouble speaking up as a teen because I never had to in my social groups when I was younger. Without siblings or cousins my age to prepare me with tough love to be vocal against bullies, doing the right thing and paving my own path, I was passive aggressive. A quiet vindictive force that got my way or my point across through blatant defiance, not my words.


Jacket: Stella Nova Pants: LOFT Booties: Urban Outfitters Shirt: GAP Purse: Banana Republic


Now I'm the complete opposite. I let people know how I feel as clearly as possible if asked or when appropriate. Guys blanch at my rebukes in response to their inappropriate comments. Honest answers roll off of my tongue when questioned about a friend's outfit. And when I don't feel right about something, I don't do it.


Don't get me wrong, I'm polite as ever but more confident in my ability to speak my mind. It's refreshing.


Do you feel like you can speak your mind? What do you feel holds you back? Let me know in the comments!

Brushing up on My Skills

My grandfather always told my mum that education was the only thing that couldn't be taken from her. That stuck with me and inspired me to continue to learn and find things that would help me remain a student. Keep reading for how I’m brushing up on my skills as a jack of all trades.

Brush 1: Finishing Contour Brush | Brush 2: Flat Top Foundation Brush | Brush 3: Blender Brush

Attend a Digital Conference Not sure which conference I will attend or when, but before the year is over I will be heading to one. Maybe in Portugal? Stay tuned!

Actually use my Lynda.com Subscription While I found Lynda a bit overwhelming (so many options to choose from) I’m going to build a schedule for myself. Maybe I'll write educational blog posts based on what I learned! To keep me engaged with the post I will take notes too.

Read Two Books a Month On my trip (city guides coming soon!) I started reading Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers. I borrowed it from my work library and I highly recommend it. I used to read so much on public transportation. However, I switched over to podcasts when I started getting motion sickness while reading on the road. Next on my list is “The Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes, recommended to me by my good friend Sheetal.

Watch More Documentaries I love documentaries but I haven’t watched any in a while. The ones I tend to gravitate to have very stoic and sobering messages, so they can be heavy for casual watching. However, I’ve found that the best conversation starters have come from watching them. Any recommendations?

Ok, obviously Tweezerman’s brush line inspired this post! How gorgeous are these babies? I am more of a 'fingers for application' girl, but recently I started using brushes. Do you want to see a makeup look with them?

*Products used in this post were provided free of charge, all opinions are my own.

Capturing Moments to Remember

I kept a journal when I was younger. In it I penned the mortifying truths of growing pains as my raw, unfiltered thoughts were released onto the pages. Some of these autobiographical chapters in my life were read by people close to me and misinterpreted as mean or callous. Really I just wrote freely from my mind and sometimes my inner dialogue was mean, but after careful thought, I would always try to act with empathy in mind.

So I've gone back and reread some of my scandalous secrets...like what my favourite personality quirk of my longstanding crush is (I still think he and I should totally get married) and what I really thought of my school 'friends'. I also discovered something else as I read on. The progression of my sassy edges whittling away into an agreeable more palatable person. It wasn't obvious at first until I picked up on a few cues that revealed a defeatist attitude.


 Shoes: H&M Jumpsuit: An oldie, but a goodie.

Without capturing those memories and leaving a time capsule for me to find I would have been doomed to repeat my past. Over the past year, I felt my edges fray, just like they did in middle school. While I haven't picked up writing in a journal again just yet, I did buy this adorable Instax Mini and a lot of film. I want to capture this summer in film and reflect at the end of it. I want the fun memories I make to be imprinted in my mind. I want to I remember that life is what you make it. It'll always have a little good, a lot of bad and maybe if you're lucky a little sass thrown in there too.




Do you guys do anything to remind you of your self-worth?

Curl power: The Strength of Loving your Curls

*Sponsored post 

I hated being different. Growing up I was, to say it nicely, weird. Bookish, outspoken and often misunderstood I didn’t fit into one social group. I wasn’t cool, but I also wasn’t uncool so I stood somewhere in the middle. One way of fitting in was to have straight hair.

Most of the girls I hung out with rocked waist-length weaves or flipped their fresh perms over their shoulders. My mum carefully braided my hair since I was a baby. I never chemically straightened my hair and thought of natural hair as my norm. However, it would be many years later until I understood the importance of embracing my curls.

As mentioned in a ‘Stuff Mom Never Told You’ podcast about Curly Hair, curls got a lot of hate in movies and TV. When a female lead would ‘transform’ from the awkward duckling, she was into a graceful swan gone was her ‘unruly’ mass of curls. Straight and silky her hair seemed to play a part in her newfound popular life. Gorging on ice-cream and watching these transformations unfold as a kid, my mum’s teachings escaped me.

Shopping channels and late night infomercials offered solutions to my kinky ‘problem’. Blow dryers with magical abilities and straighteners that did the impossible had me begging my mum to straighten my hair. Eventually, she caved and did it. Without the use of chemicals, my hair fell into more of a triangular shape than bone straight. But I rocked the style on my birthday and special holidays like I was hot stuff. Feeling too old for the cornrows I was accustomed to, I started wearing my hair in the curls it would wave into after I pulled out my flat twists. My afro drew attention from the guys I had crushes on and the girls I wanted to be friends with. Since then the power of my curls surprised me everyday. While the natural-movement was in full swing, my natural hair drew attention wherever I went. From sneaking looks in the middle of a conversation or blatant staring on the subway, people just couldn’t resist ‘em (or maybe I had something on my face?!).

Since embracing the power of my curls, I learned to accept a lot of other things about myself I would have given anything to change. Yes, it took other people appreciating my curls for me to realize their strength. But it showed me that I shouldn’t look to others to define what beautiful is to me, but to work with what I’ve already got!


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2016: The Year of Learning

I'm going to allow myself to grow in 2016. 2015 was a year of constantly playing catch up for me. I was texting my girl Janu and she asked me what the New Year has in store for me.

And I knew right away to answer: 2016 is going to be a learning 'playground' for me. An experiential year of challenging myself, falling down and getting back up. Don't get me wrong, I did a lot of that in 2015. But most of the time I was in too much of a stressed state to really reflect and apply those lessons.

I remember when a client decided to part ways with me right when everything else around me was crumbling (where I lived, my mum's health, school etc.) It was a losing battle. I was sinking into the stress and anxiety of my feelings. At times I felt like I couldn't breathe or move; choked and paralyzed by thinking there was no way out.

I knew I had to make a change so I did. I started meditating and praying more,  trained even harder for my 10km race and spent more time with my friends and family. It made a world of a difference but I was still guarded against getting rejected again. Don't get me wrong,  2015 was an amazing year. I did a lot to be proud of, however I don't want to waste the chance to repurpose the hardest moments as lessons to learn.



So here's to 2016. I won't ask it to be good to me...instead I'll make it amazing. Photos by: Nik Popalavsky

Back to Black

Many people usually take note of my 'colourful' personality. Those bright shades in my attitude and demeanour are usually reflected in my outfits and accessories too.  

However, lately, I've been feeling a little darker. Maybe it's the weather or exam season but I've been a bit more snarky and less bubbly. My fellow YouTuber/Classmate/Fave Person Kevy was able to capture a bit of that darkness for me (PS check out his blog. It's bravely intimate and I'm so proud of it!) with a quick impromptu shoot before we grabbed Shawarma and talked about life.




Jacket: Stella Nova | Boots GAP | Nylons Calvin Klein | Dress Dreamers [similar] | Hardware Ebay Canada





Later on that night, I went out to Media Profile's Holiday party with Max where we giggled on The Burroughs' rooftop and gazed over the nighttime skyline. The CN tower was lit in Christmas colours, reminding me that my birthday is just around the corner. Maybe dark-'Laish isn't just a phase...maybe I'm just finally grown up.




Accesories Gift Guide for Frequent Flyers

As a frequent traveller my holiday wish list is quite different from my friends’. Organizers, mini versions of beauty products, carry-on bags..my list could on forever. I tried to curate a unique bunch of things I either use frequently or really want to try.

1. Sanuk Bianca Shoes Apparently Sanuk shoes are super comfy. One of my fave bloggers, Marla from Trendstruck was rocking a pair in one of her recent snapchats (go follow her, she’s hilarious) and I loved them. If I’m wearing a pair of heels take a look in my purse; I’m guaranteed to have a pair of flats in there. I always wear flats to and in the airport. These flats would have been great for me this year when I took a day trip to NYC for a meeting! I could have thrown on a pair of heels after hopping off of the subway in Soho.

2. Packing Cubes from eBay Packing cubes are legendary among professional travellers for organization and space optimization. I’ve wanted a pack of them for a while so I sprung and got them off of eBay. I’ll let you know how they go!

3. Cabeau Neck Pillow I gave up on Neck pillows a while back until I got my Cabeau this summer. It’s like a plush and comfortable brace for your neck. I reviewed this pillow in my LA haul which you can watch on my YouTube channel.

4. Agape + Hesed Palm Leaf Print Case Victoria at Haute Canada is a talented designer with a generous heart. This clutch gets10 kids breakfast!  I'm over marble, so this banana/palm leaf patterned clutch or tablet case is a great alternative. For it to fit a 13" sized laptop, you can contact Victoria to customize it.

5. Sony Extra Bass XB950  The reason why I usually opt for earbuds when on a flight is: headphones usually start to hurt my ears after wearing them for while. I won these headphones last month (thanks Sony!) and I've been using them almost everyday and can honestly say: they never ever hurt. I fell asleep and woke up with them on and I felt no soreness at all. Aside from the extreme comfort the sound quality is also great. With the comfortable and sound blocking cushions sounds feel three dimensional and alive...which can also get a little creepy if you're listening to a track with footsteps or whispering.

6. AWAY Carry On When feeling overwhelmed at the airport a dying phone seems like the least of your concerns…until you need to get your boarding pass out. Or book your hotel while in the boarding line (I totally did that when on the way to Paris…).

I found the Away Carry-On on Product Hunt and I can’t wait for it’s launch next year. When you fly more than 4 times a year you learn how to pack strategically, especially if it’s a short trip. On most of my trips in the past 3 years I only brought a carry on and a knapsack. While the AWAY’s minimalist design and muted colours are nice, what drew me to this carry on was it’s internal phone charger. Compatible with tablets and phones you wouldn’t have to worry about digging through your stuff for a portable charger or laptop or be next to a wall outlet while at the airport.

7. Sony RX100 IV There are photos and videos I didn't shoot because I was either too embarrassed to whip out my massive DSLR or I just didn't want the inconvenience of carrying a large camera around with me. My favourite YouTubers all have vlogging cameras that capture their fun day-to-day adventures and I'd love to do the same. The Sony RX100's sensor is ridiculous and it shoots faster than other cameras it's size. With 4K shooting capabilities and a secret electronic view finder this a must-have on my list. [Watch a full review here]

8. Blanket Scarf from Halogen at Nordstrom I tend to run cold so I always keep a sweater or scarf nearby, no matter what season it is. I am a big fan of blanket scarves while on a plane. I can wear them to the airport as a jacket and on the plane as a scarf, but it won’t take up too much room in my luggage or purse when I arrive somewhere. That’s especially important if I’m headed somewhere warm and won’t even use the scarf while there.

9. Ralph Lauren City Tote There’s nothing like a bag that can fit everything you need in it. On flights you’re allowed to bring a personal bag on and if I’ve decided to not check in a big case I'd usually go for a knapsack. But if I have checked in luggage a roomy and stylish purse is the way to go. I've had my eye on this Ralph Lauren City tote for a while. It's the perfect dupe for the Prada double bag which I've wanted since Fleur de Force did a review a while back.

*Some products used in this post were provided free of charge, all opinions are my own.

Be Prepared

If you're following me on Twitter you might have noticed that I'm running another 10km race this November 1st with Adidas. This unique run takes place at 1am just before the clocks go backwards. So I'm spending my extra 60 minutes this year running with Taylor (our first time running together) in this pretty cool race. The most important thing I learned while training for another race is that you need to be prepared. Below I've listed a few ways that I got ready for this run.

The Right Shoes

What you wear to train really determines the outcome of your session. Whether you feel comfortable in your shoes and clothes is an integral part of your workout. Before the Brooks preview event I went online and used their Shoe Finder. The quiz was updated with detailed questions about my body and what shoes would suit my feet best. Because I pronate and run long distances on the concrete my 'answer' on the quiz was the Adrenaline GTS15. They are solid shoes. They keep my feet in the right position with every step I take and the support reminds me a bit of the orthotic inserts I had as a kid (can you tell I was really cool?)

What you listen to 

While I love me some songs with high bpm I actually listen to slower, melodic music when running. In my last post about running I mentioned that pacing myself was key to me not giving up or feeling like a failure. Since I move at a moderate pace my body doesn't get tired as fast and I can continue for longer distances. Until I hit the final stretch of my run, I blast movie sound tracks with swirling violins and dramatic chord progressions. Or very chill alternative and jazz songs I find on SoundCloud.  I train with my Jabra Sport Pulse bluetooth earbuds. It monitors my distance, heart rate, time, calories burned etc. While the sound quality isn't at Bose level, it pairs well with external apps like Spotify, Soundcloud or just iTunes. It's a really great device I never run without. [Read my full tech review on Tech Analyzer]

What you wear 

Hyba just opened at Eaton's Centre (video to come soon!) and I was super excited to get my hands on these duds. This matching outfit is extremely comfortable. I love the high waist on the pants (#nomuffintop) and how fitted the jacket is. I also like the notes of berry colour throughout the dark coordinates. (I also grabbed another pair of pants that I'm obsessed with from Hyba here. More to come on them soon!). If I don't want my phone flopping around in a pocket I'll usually bring My Tag Alongs pouch. In it I keep money or a debit card, chapstick (dry lips are horrible on a run), my keys and my public transportation pass (just in case). That's how I keep prepared...what about you guys?

*Some products used in this post were provided free of charge, all opinions are my own.

Commitment issues...

I have commitment issues. Committing to a schedule or a task is daunting for me. Don't get me wrong, I get things done. But I know I could do far more with my time and my effort if I just stuck to things. As I've gotten older I've put tools in place to make sure that I not only commit in words but in actions as well.

Wearing: Clarks shoes, Thrifted Jeans, GAP Jacket

I tell other people what I'm going to do: An engagement ring is taken seriously because it's a declaration. It's a manifestation of spoken commitment. Put a ring on whatever project it is you're working on! Seriously. Contemplate whatever it is you've got to do and then tell your biggest supporters about it. This is not only encouraging but holds you accountable to those you care about most.

I put away my distractions:  My phone, social media, snacks, friends...they all get ignored when I'm digging into whatever it is I've committed to doing. It's easier said than done and takes time to practice. If you schedule breaks for yourself you can look forward to checking Twitter once your task is finished in the allotted time. Have a reasonable end-time in mind and you won't stray from your task as easily.

I stop doubting myself:  Self-doubt is a downer. It really takes a toll on your confidence and work-ethic. I've learned to be confident in most things which allows me to dive in, unafraid of what's ahead. I get the tools I need to ensure my imminent success which then increases my confidence so I get get stuff done! Don't make promises you can't and won't keep:  I hate breaking my promises and I hate flaking out. So I've learned to say 'No'. When you don't commit to something you know you don't want or can't do it's relieving. It rids you of the pressure that leads to procrastination.

Embrace What you Can't Change

What can't you change in your life that you're fighting? Stop resisting. Embrace it. When the September Heat Wave hit I was pretty upset. It's fall. I wanted turtlenecks and suede, not summer-sweat while mid-TIFF. But I didn't fight it and stubbornly throw on my fall coat. Instead I took a walk through a park wearing my unseasonably sleeveless jumper from Anthropologie's label, Elevenses.  



There's a lot in life that we can't change. Rather than resisting, make it easier on yourself by facing your problems head on. I'm learning how to brave my 'un-changeable' situations with my chin up and a smile on my face.

*Some products used in this post were provided free of charge, all opinions are my own.

Elaisha Goes...to TIFF Blog 1: My Picks

I have this thing with movie trailers...I can't get enough of them. I'm insatiable. I decided to check out the TIFF Trailer playlist to choose my top picks hitting screens across downtown Toronto this festival season. Some really stood out and I hope I can fit them into my schedule between industry sessions and press events.  Below are my picks and why these picks they made it on my list. Click the title if you’d like to learn more about the film; my blurbs are not a synopsis.


Denis Villeneuve nabbed and kept my attention since I screened left the theatre shocked and emotionally drained after watching Incendies (2010). While he didn't write this film, he worked again with cinematographer, Roger Deakins, who was behind the grit of Prisoners (2013). Every time I leave a Villeneuve film I feel like my world is off balance...and I like that a lot. I call him the cliffhanger king.


This film made the cut not only because Tom Hardy is 'Parent Trapping' the whole thing by playing the role of twins in the film (which must have been tiring) but he’s a good actor with a knack for picking out suitable films. Even if his old MySpace pictures are terrible…


I. Can't. WAIT. While this star-crossed lovers tale has been done over and over again I've never seen it from this type of perspective. I've also only seen one film with two directors so it'll be interesting to see how this pans out too.


I have high hopes for the French films this season. Seems like this teen-pregnancy story will be told with a touch of naïveté, grandiosity and heartbreak without the dramatics of, '16 and Pregnant'. Hopefully another gem in contemporary French cinema.

Beeba Boys

Based on true stories and characters of violent gang crimes by ruthless criminals. No this isn't an American film about American gangs. It's a Canadian film set in...wait for it: Canada. Oh and it's an Indo-Canadian themed movie with a wide North American release starring big names in Indian cinema.

Urban Hymn

There is no movie-love like platonic love. I find that while romantic love in movies can be riveting and initially attention grabbing, unless it’s a film like 'Like, Crazy' with an unconventional love-story it just follows the romantic comedy or tragic love-story template. From using the London Riots to set the mood of the film to the pain of the social worker as she takes a troubled girl under her wing I'm excited to check this out.



Christopher Plummer must really love his job. He’s still at it. While it seems that this role won’t push any grave limits it will be nice to watch him on the screen again for what may be his final project before retirement. Oh and Nneka Elliott will make a cameo as a news reporter

Wedding Doll

I'm definitely going to cry when watching this one. Snickers bar in hand. Not sure how the casting and even direction handled


I've never watched a movie set in Ethiopia and the story seemed intriguing. Hopefully I’ll be able watch more Ethiopian cinema soon, but for now I’ll start here.

Honorable Mentions


As I open my Eyes






Ville Marie

17 Days of Summer

September 23rd is the last day of summer. There are 17 days left. How are you going to make the most of it? Keep reading for how I'm going to soak up the last bit of summer.


Change things up  My extension braids are out and the fro is now free. I may regret taking them out with the busyness of TIFF and the back to school time but I wanted a fun change to usher in the new season. Wear white after labour day 'Cause why not? Not wearing white after labour day is a classist tradition that I've never followed. While evidence of my lunch may be on my ivory pants, at least I looked good for an hour or two. Go somewhere you haven't before... I explored the adorable park in my pictures when out west staying with a family friend. After some investigating I found out that the whole perimeter is turned into a skating park in winter! This year I'm also hitting the industry track at TIFF for the first time and I can't wait. I've gone every year for the past 4 years but this will be a bit different.  Some cool updates on TIFF to come soon!

Get organized I just did a big room purge and clean-up so I'll have a clear mind when the busy season kicks in. That way I'll spend less time indoors looking for the perfect booties to wear and more time actually wearing them.

Make a Playlist To celebrate the transition I made a playlist on my Soundcloud (of course). The summer nostalgia is so real.

Even though fall is quickly approaching it doesn't mean that you have to lock yourself away. Embrace it. Make the most of the it's-too-hot-for-this-sweater-why-did-I-wear-it weather before you're swimming in a sea of jackets on the streetcar.

How to look Cool when it's Hot

Can't beat this view or the heat in the desert. Skinny white jeans are essential in the summer to keep cool. The thin material of my shirt was breezy and was thin enough to not be overbearing under the beating sun. My accessories were kept to a golden minimal with just my rose gold aviators and a gold arm bangle. I decided to go barefoot...'cause why not? I like how textured the shirt was to match the harsh desert around me.

Pants Thrifted similar | Shirt Urban Behaviour Streetwear similar  | Bangle EXPRESS similar | Nails Essie California Coral | Sunglasses Forever 21similar

Visiting the Bluffs

bra Anita | shoes Teva | leggings EXPRESS | backpack Jansport

I try to soak up as much of the sun as possible during the few summer months we have in Toronto. This Saturday I slipped on my Teva's and visited the Scarborough Bluffs with Taylor for a quick hike in the heat. Anita had sent me their Extreme Control Maximum sports bra a few weeks back and I've been wearing it for every workout since. While it's designed for high endurance activities that involve a lot of bouncing around (like running) I decided to also rock it on my hike. It's wire-free so I never feel any discomfort when wearing it and everything feels secure with the triple eyelet closure but it doesn't feel too tight.

I was excited to try out my EXPRESS leggings for the first time and of course they're super comfy. The high waist keeps everything in place which is important when you've got a booty like mine and I love the flirty mesh detailing. And my Teva's were a must to show off my pedi while comfortably treading in the heat. My Jansport Watch Tower backpack was stuffed since I was heading out to Whitby after our hike to visit my family. I was surprised that it fit everything I needed for my overnight stay with Taylor while also fitting comfortably. It'll be great as a carry-on for my next trip too since I've had to retire my 10+ year old Obusforme. Everything I'm wearing is linked above!

*Some products used in this post were provided free of charge, all opinions are my own.

What I Wore: The Queens Plate x Rethink Breast Cancer

tank Vero Moda | pants Vintage | shoes Cole Haan | purse House of Harlow | hat April Cornell | Bracelet EXPRESS

Thanks again to Rethink Breast Cancer for having me as a guest at the annual Queens Plate. I donned the black and white uniform of choice under the Rethink tent. I wholly admit to giving come hither eyes to the servers as they carried poutine and other yummy snacks.

Since the weather was set to be sunny and warm I decided to go with a shirt that no bra permits (a post to come about living on the braless side). Before I gave up trying to see over the crowd of lacy fascinators I was sure to grab some reel for you to check out on my vlog.

See more of my Queens Plate 2015 experience with Rethink Breast Cancer on the next instalment of 'Elaisha Goes...' below: