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What Its Like to Have a Colourful Personality

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I think everyone feels out of place. Weird. Odd. Different. Those feelings resonated with me growing up because I have an extremely colourful personality.

Pictures by my girl Raya at Style Controversy

Almost in my mid-twenties, I realized that I allowed the world around me to soften my edges. And dull some of my bright sides. I was super bubbly and chatty as a kid, and while I retained some of that lustre, it just wasn't the same.

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Shirt: Gap, Pants, Gap, Shoes: Urban Outfitters, Purse: Zara Vest: Similar

Passive aggressive comments and jealous remarks from people I considered to be friends weighed heavy on me. 'What's wrong with me?' I used to think. 'Why can't I just be normal?' I used to ask myself. Even before I was homeschooled for most of high school, I would ponder on my inability to be able to fit in and the anxiety I had surrounding it. I often spent lunch breaks alone and explored the historical neighbourhood I grew up in by myself. Or I volunteered at my school library and buried myself in the plots of my heroes, getting lost in their fictional lives that seemed as tragic as my own.

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I also grew up in a pretty strict and religious household. So I couldn't go out to parties or dress like everyone else. Being pulled out of school seemed to be the final nail in the coffin that was my blah social life.

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But all of these things made me, me. I wouldn't change any of it. Instead, I've tried to embrace what I can't change and just roll with the punches. I won't allow criticism to shape me unless it's constructive and from the heart.

Do you have a colourful personality, too? Let me know in the comments!

#FitFam: 5 Ways to Stay Fit for Travellers

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After I had got back from Vegas, I was thrown into a new job and didn't take the time to focus on myself. I got comfy in my oversized sweaters and leggings and didn't realize that they were getting a bit tight! Then before I knew it, I was away the next weekend in Blue Mountain after Vegas then on a 3-week trip to Europe in the summer. I put together a little plan to make sure I can be fit and feel comfortable in my skin, no matter where I am.

I joined a Gym

While I've had steady results working out at home, seeing money leave my bank account is motivation enough to ensure that I get my butt moving before I leave on a trip and after I return. No matter how good I feel that I look, I'll ensure that I head out to the gym and put in work. Plus I love working out in classes! I've taken some of the moves that I've learned in those classes and personal training sessions and modified them for hotel room and hotel gym workouts.

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I Surrounded Myself with Inspiration

From the people I hang around to the body-positive Instagram accounts I follow, I try to surround myself with fitness inspiration every day. Jetsetter, Iskra Lawrence is one of my faves to follow on Snapchat and Instagram. From city to city, the Australian model works hard, trains hard and looks amazing while doing it all. Another is Canadian Running magazine cover model (and one of my faves), Sasha Exeter. The frequent traveller's body is ridiculous (she looks even better in person), and I love watching her fitness journey and Snapchat adventures online.

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I Made Fitness Part of my Adventure

From hiking across Ben Nevis in Scotland to walking over 10k in a day in Barcelona and New York, I try to incorporate some activity into my day when travelling. I can count only a handful of times that I've hopped in a taxi or Uber while away. I prefer to see and explore cities by foot and public transport. When stuck in a car most of the time in Scotland (while eating everything that came in my path deep fried...) I made it a point to find hiking spots along the way.

I Got out of My Comfort Zone

While I'm still a bit shy about walking right up to the squat rack to do some damage at the gym, I've tried to do things that make me feel uncomfortable. First thing: kickboxing. Oh my gosh, that class kicked my butt! And I felt super uncomfortable walking into it and punching the bag...let alone the warm up. But I did it! And while I haven't returned (yet) I know that literally anything is possible if I could survive that class. So next time I feel uncomfortable jogging across the shoreline in Cancun or hitting the hotel gym, I know I'll be able to move past that emotion and just do it.

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I loved My Body

I'm not getting fit because I hate my body, I'm getting fit because I love it! Maybe someday I'll get into some of the body issues I faced growing up, but for now, I just want to encourage you to find one thing to love about yourself. Then slowly you'll see the list growing until self-love just engulfs you.

How to do you keep fit while you're travelling? Let me know in the comments below!

It's Ok to Cry

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Some days I get really sad. Like, Eyore sad; functional and revelling in it. I throw on some Coldplay or Daughter and just have at it. If it's a really bad day, a soundtrack from The O.C. (usually season 2) will score my wailing and weeping. Whether I'm angry at myself or someone else, the situation consumes me. Many acquaintances may read this in shock because I'm naturally a very happy and energetic person when I'm around others. I feed off of their energy and give a lot of my own then I retreat, tired and a bit drained.

All pictures by Bratty B

This post isn't about how to get happy, or peppy when you're knee deep in your tears. Instead, it's about feeling those emotions so that they'll eventually soften into a dull ache that will eventually fade.I learned that it's better to sob yourself to sleep at 3 am in the morning than pretend everything is ok.  When people don't allow themselves to go through the grieving process or feel sad, they get stuck. Anxious about something triggering them into feeling those emotions or remembering whatever situation that caused their grief.

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Wearing: Ecco Soft 7 Slip on shoes, Tyler Madison culottes, Uniqlo turtleneck, Rudsak umbrella, Calvin Klein Stockings

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Someone close to me told me that her mum taught her not to cry. Her emotional constipation left her unable to empathize with others. Her 'suck it up' and 'you're too sensitive' mentality drove a wedge in our relationship, and I confronted her on it. Don't get me wrong; I'm not a constant cry baby. But if I feel something in my heart I'll speak up or react, especially with someone who understands why I feel sensitive towards something.

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Whether it's bawling at a movie or crying while confronting a fairweather friend I let them flow, and that's ok. Because the next day, or a few days later I can let it go and move on.

Do you feel you're able to let go? Or do you bottle it all up? Let me know in the comments below.

What I got for $125 at Uniqlo Canada

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Uniqlo is finally in Canada.

Photocredit: Ryan Emberley

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Photocredit: Ryan Emberley

I attended the Canadian preview event this summer and was impressed with the collection of essential basics in an array of colours. I was super excited when I got the invite to the store opening so I could finally see the space (and shop away).

Like other Japanese franchises, (ie. Muji) Uniqlo is a store of essentials and convenience. When I walked into the press preview I was greeted with sake and a $125 gift card. As I strolled about I understood why members of the public lined up at 4am the next day to get their fill of the store.

Kinda went crazy tonight @UniqloCanada! Check it out tomorrow to snag some deals #UNIQLOCanadapic.twitter.com/B6u85lnAEw

— ELAISHA JADE (@ElaishaJade) September 30, 2016

After taking a gander and making some painful decisions, here's what I left the cash register with!

Thanks for watching and reading! Have you been to the new Uniqlo store yet?

Why I'm not Passive Aggressive Anymore

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[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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

Why I'm Single

The other day a guy I've known for most of my life looked at me quizzically and asked, "Why are you single?" The question came after he complimented my looks and asked whether I was in a relationship. I quickly replied that I was picky and the conversation shifted to something else. Then it sat with me. Beyond the fact that society imposes a monogamous relationship as the pinnacle of happiness (ha!) I don't feel many qualms about being single.

Leggings: Reitmans | Boots: Ecco | Purse: Aldo | Jacket: Ebay 

A friend noted that on social media my jokes about not being in a relationship seemed sad. So of course I halted all, 'I'm the funny-single-girl' tweets (although I still hit up the snap) and this Valentines day I asked myself, "Elaisha, why are you really single?"

A piece by Natalie Joos (aka Tales of Endearment), An Ill-Fated Attempt at Finding Love in the Hamptons(published and read by me in 2013) stuck with me for years. Joos—a stylish and beautiful casting agent—spilled the details on her experience with a bratty guy who couldn't see past his own ego to overcome a misunderstanding, before their first date. What made it so vividly memorable was that I could relate. From rejecting a guy or even showing interest...he (like any person) could just go off of the rails about something that could never warrant a mean or heated response. Yet it's happened over and over to me and several of my close friends. Nobody's got time for that. While I maintain a tough-guy front (see comfy biker boots and band t-shirt above) I'm actually quite sensitive. Facing constant ridicule from a partner without reason would hurt and make me close off.

Last month I watched a touching video produced by SoulPancake, which featured a roundtable of men who shared their emotions and experiences and asked each other questions. One guy said something I've repeated to several friends since. He (I'm paraphrasing) said that solely wanting 'the chase' objectifies the person you were going after into a prized possession. It's problematic to think, getting the person that doesn't want you gives you value.

It wasn't something I consciously did but it happened many times over. When I really looked back and reflected I thought, maybe I did want the conquest to give me value. I chose to want guys who didn't feel the same way or really valued me. Because if I could change their minds then I'd prove something; maybe to myself or others. But it never worked.

For now I'll just stick to learning how to open my heart to the right people and making fire playlists that I can listen to with the Sony MDR-100AAP's. I've got a fun trip coming up soon, so look out for a travel review of these babies.

If you're cool with sharing, answer: why are you single?

*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.

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

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: