Elaisha Jade shares her experience on grief, travel and learning how to deal.
This August I was fed up. In a previous post, I shared that I got back into the driver's seat of my life. That I decided to take charge of the chaos around me by changing the course of my life's direction. Part of that transformation involved choosing myself. Keep reading for how I did and to see some cute pics from my adventures in St Andrews and Fredericton New Brunswick! (More to come on those soon!)
When did being selfish become a bad thing? When did picking my needs over someone else's make me a monster? I looked back at certain parts of my life I can see where I put my needs and desires for my future on hold. My desire to finish school, the urge to live abroad and my need to live alone. These were all things I battled with on a deep level.
For months I felt that I was running on a treadmill. Tired from the excruciating journey but not actually getting anywhere. Just spinning my wheel hoping that soon I would be where I wanted to go. But hope wasn't enough. I listened to the audiobook version of, 'Adventures for Your Soul' by Shannon Kaiser. This book was amazing. It really opened my eyes to why I was travelling so much. I was running away from my grief, from making a decision about my life and from what it would mean if I faced both of them.
Then I made a plan. This plan involved everything I wanted to do. At the top of the list is my desire to move to a city I've wanted to call home for close to 8 years. Instead of staring forlornly at Instagram shots of this city I started researching neighborhoods. Cost of living. Taxes. Anything I could get my hands on. If you fail to plan you plan to fail right?
The plan is to move there next year in January or February! This is all a part of a grander scheme that I can't wait to unfold. The plan is to continue to travel, but not so I can escape. I want to travel to explore and really enjoy where I am, not rue the countdown to coming home.
Thanks for being a part of this journey guys. I can't wait for what's to come.
Shoes: Mark’s & Spencer, Dress Tobi, Purse Urban Outfitters
Dress: Tobi, Purse: Urban Outfitters Shoes: Steve Madden
Shoes: Mark's & Spencer, Dress Tobi, Purse Urban Outfitters
Pictures by Bratty B
I’m jealous of people who can fall sleep easily. I’ve faced some issues with getting rest due to some anxiety and having a hyperactive personality. Sometimes I feel like falling asleep is a daily recipe I need to follow. A dark and quiet room mixed with gentle lavender and warm PJs are the best combo for me, but the world sadly doesn’t revolve around me, especially when I travel. There are frequent nights when my thoughts swirl to no end and I just give up on sleeping and watch movie trailers all night.
While I’m pretty easy going, when it comes to sleep I’m very sensitive. I’ve been this way since I was a kid. I was only able to get a few hours of sleep in the before visiting my favourite amusement park. I’d spend days at school falling asleep at my desk because I just couldn’t get to sleep the night before. People have made me feel like I’m being too sensitive, or like I need to ‘get over’ how I feel. It took me some time to finally accept that I’m not like most people when it comes to sleep and that that’s ok.
So far this year, I’ve slept: on 4 international flights, in 2 cars, 3 taxis, 2 bullet trains, 1 RV, 5 hotels and 1 chalet. From road trips to crossing the pond I’ve caught some zzz’s when travelling from point A to B. I can usually sleep through anything…the problem is the initial journey to falling asleep.
Keep reading for my tips on how you restless travellers can actually get some sleep every night (and a reveal of where I’m headed this week)!
Create a Routine
I’ve found that creating and sticking to a routine has been the best way to wind down for the night. When Caleigh and I were on the road this summer on the East Coast of Canada she was surprised that I did my routine almost every night. Whether we were in the RV or in the fanciest hotel in town, I whipped on my nighttime head scarf and got to work. Try to create your own routine and don’t be afraid to change it up as you go along.
Use a black out mask
This is not your average sleeping mask. This thing is made to block out all light with its adjustable elastic closure. On long haul flights, this is always tucked into my personal bag close to my feet. When I feel ready to finally fall asleep, I slip this on and try to drift to dream land.
If my feet are cold you best believe I am not falling asleep or staying asleep. I hate feeling cold at night. It hurts my soul. So wherever I go I always pack a pair of fuzzy socks on my carry on or personal bag if I’m on the road. I got (and lost) these Heat Socks a while back and I'm going to get an other pair this winter.
Wear the right PJs
I am a HUGE fan of adorable pyjamas. I don’t know what it is, I feel way more put together at the end of my bedtime routine when I throw on some comfy PJs. If I’m able to have a long bath then put on some coconut oil I get super excited to wear my PJs. These ones from Amazon Basic’s line, Mae, are my current faves. They’re a mix of shorts and a long shirt (weird but actually what I prefer wearing since PJ pant legs are usually too long for me) I can’t wait to rock the set when I visit Jamaica this week!
Block out the noise
Aside from blocking out light, I also like wherever I’m going to fall asleep to be very quiet. I love wearing sound barrier earbuds (a little easier to transport than headphones). These ones from Bose have worked to block out the white noise that I hate from my flights. Sometimes I find myself wearing them as earplugs when just walking about. I also love wearing these earbuds from Sony. While they don't stop all of the white noise I hate, the sound they give out is like butter.
Before I go to sleep I usually meditate. Quieting my mind is the hardest part of trying to get to sleep. Slowly I’m learning how to control my thoughts. Lately I’ve really liked listening to various meditations in the audio book, “Easy Everyday Meditations” by Sue Fuller. Rema recommended Calm to me (I just haven’t gotten around to subscribing yet). The free sessions I’ve listened to on YouTube are incredible so far.
My last ditch effort to get to sleep (short of actually counting sheep) is to try a breathing exercise. One that works for me is a 4 second inhale, hold for 7 counts then exhale for 8 counts and repeat. If I’m tired enough, trying to focus on maintaining this cycle bores me enough to sleep.
Thanks for reading my tips guys! I felt a little nervous about sharing part of my journey of living with anxiety. But even if this helps only one other person, it's worth it.
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The biggest takeaway I got from studying abroad was: it’s easy to get overwhelmed, push past it. I wish I had asked some students who had studied abroad for their tips. I guess I just wanted to figure it out on my own.
Keep reading my tips that I learned along the way while studying abroad in Shanghai.
1. Take risks
Try that ‘weird’ food, go out on that Tinder date (safety first!), sign up for a course you know nothing about...live a little! Sure you’ve decided to skip town and live in another country. But don’t let that be the only risk you take.
2. Get Organized
I found that when I started language school in Shanghai I was in my prime when I kept organized af! But then of course that all went downhill. I started wearing less and going out more and made friends in the city and was almost never home. An agenda (like this one) would have been a step in the right direction.
3. Self Care
Pick a day and make that the one day you don’t do a thing other than spoil yourself. If you don’t have the privilege of time to do so, then spoil yourself in other ways. Soak with a bath bomb, say no to that favour you don’t want to do or paint your nails a fresh nude colour.
4. Be Nice
It seems simple, but be nice. Sure it’s easy to get in a slump. To think that you feel so alone and that no one gets your life. Guess what: everyone else feels the same way (especially at school abroad). Suck it up* and go meet someone new and really listen to them.
5. Talk to Someone*
Ok the little asterisk above is for the anxious student. The one that feels like leaving their campus or meeting new people is an impossibility. Whether it's medical or other factors, sometimes people feel that block. The best tip I can give to you is the one you fear the most, talk to someone! It might be a professional counsellor at your school (or online) or it might be someone down the hall. Use your voice
6. Getaway for the weekend
While in Shanghai I had the chance to visit Beijing with my roommate and her friend. I had already planned on visiting Beijing, but to do so with people I knew was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. So I hopped on the bullet train with them and had one of the best times of my life! Pack up a cute weekender bag and #Justgo!
7. Record your experiences
Experiencing a trip through a screen might be my job, but it’s not always the best way to do it. I don’t believe in holding my phone up the entire time I’m away. Keeping a travel journal or a secret Tumblr could be a great way to record your experiences. It could be so you can share them with friends later or look back on them on your own.
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I have a shopping problem. But it's totally ok because it means I can give you my ultimate tips for How to Shop for Your Next Vacation. Sometimes we get so caught up in the excitement of a trip that we forget to purchase key items and end up buying things we don't need. Keep reading for how I get the best deals and avoid useless buying.
Make a List (and Check it Twice!)
Sure you might need those green ostrich leather biking gloves someday, but not today. Ensure that every purchase you make is intentional. I've been guilty of
Set a Budget
The worst B word. I hate sticking to a budget but my wallet is always grateful. After deciding what things I need and want for my trip, I set a budget and cry a little. Then I feel a little less guilty when shopping. Instead of thinking 'I can't afford this!' I think, 'Is this on my list? Did I budget for this purchase?'
I am a firm believer of getting the best price for whatever I'm purchasing. Makes sense right? Not to everyone. Some people just want the first thing they see and check out quickly. I'm like a lioness waiting in the grass for its prey. I'm very patient when shopping. I use things like the camera option on Amazon Canada's app to upload pictures of whatever I want to purchase from other websites then I compare the pricing and check out if it's a winner.
Catch the Sales
When I know an event like Prime Day is coming, I don't waste my time shopping before it. I know regular prices will stay the same. If the item I really want isn't on sale then I can always purchase it at the list price later.
Can you believe that it's almost Prime Day? Tomorrow check my blog for the ultimate Prime Day Deals post. I've had a sneak peek of the deals and I'm beyond ready for the amazing prices to come. From $40 off of the Kindle Paper White to up to 70% off of Samsonite Luggage (omg!) I am beyond ready to update my travel gear.
Tomorrow, read my post to save some time (and to feel less overwhelmed) when it's live.
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Getting your period while travelling doesn’t have to suck. I’ve learned that the best way to deal with my period is to prepare. While I’m known to sweat in writhing pain, my friend Taylor usually doesn’t get any cramps and can go about her day. Everyone's period varies. reading for what’s worked for me when I got my period while abroad.
Do Your Research
Pads are more popular in China. Many videos and blog posts about warned me that if I wanted to use tampons while there I would pay a premium. So I was sure to pack as many tampons as I needed for my trip (like this
). Find out if you’re visiting a place where the product you prefer to use isn’t popular or if you’ll have access to a drug store. then load up your luggage with the supplies you need. Your next trip is could be enough incentive to try a
p. Should I try it out and give you a review? Let me know in the comments.
There’s an App for That
Gone are the days when you have to use paper and a chart to track your period! Download a period tracker app way before your travels. You can use this app to track when your period and ovulation are on the way. It averages out how many days it takes for your period to come based on your body, not only the average 28-day cycle. That way you can check in advance to know whether you’ll even get your period while abroad and you can prepare if so.
Keep track of how many tampons you use, pain killers you pop or how often you change your
in a day. It’s easy to forget that you’re shedding a part of your body if your luggage goes missing or your flight gets delayed. Try to set a timer on your phone and bring enough product in your carry on or in a bag or pocket you can access at any time.
Know your Body
I get bodied by my period on the first day. I’ve felt like a vicious round of mortal combat was taking place in my abdomen. Know your symptoms and your limits. If you feel the red death approaching, try switching up your plans. Why fight through a 20k hike? Try visiting a museum or a decadent restaurant (where there are washrooms close at hand) that day.
Talk About It
Travelling with friends? Especially friends who don’t get a period? If you need a break or if you feel that you can’t do certain activities that day, then talk about it if you feel comfortable. I spoke up when I got my period when travelling with some friends. I told them why I wasn't down with certain excursions. We worked around it that day then got back to it for the rest of the week.
One of the ways I get through my period while abroad is to bring familiar foods and media to make it through. I take the day off and binge watch something on Netflix with chocolate (mmm
). Pack and rock your period clothes (I avoid jeans and stick to leggings and loose tops to deal with mild bloating). Make sure they're appropriate for the weather at your destination.
s are also a must for me since I’m usually active when travelling and I can’t run the risk of leaking.
Have you gotten your period while abroad? Let me know in the comments how you dealt with it and if I missed any advice.
Next stop on my list of perfect IG spots is another east-end favourite, Hailed Coffee.
Pictures by Desiree of A Desired Journey
Hailed coffee was a welcome and warm escape from the wet and dreary day outside. It was a cute space with the classic coffee grinder and milk steamer noises sounding off here and there. The white washed cafe thankfully carried dairy alternatives! I ordered a decaf latte with almond milk and a hazelnut shot. The gorgeous drink was delicious. I don't drink coffee so this was a little treat for me! It was a super cozy space and I quickly found a spot to sit.
Desiree and I split a super decadent croissant and chatted a bit of business over our snack. With only a few customers in and out of the space, the atmosphere at Hailed Coffee was super chill. I would definitely recommend one of the tables at the back for a work-day since the music wasn't blasting in there and it wasn't crowded.
I'm sharing my secret go-to recipe for busy days! When I quickly come home for lunch from work or when I don't feel like making an elaborate dish that still tastes great this meal is delicious (and quick).
You only need a few ingredients to make this yummy dish!
½ tbsp. of coconut oil
½ a pack of President's Choice Pork & Vegetable Potstickers
½ tbsp. of sesame seed oil
A side dish of President's Choice Plum Sauce
I preheat my pan and add my coconut oil. Once it melts, I wait a few seconds then add my pot stickers. A lot of people like them just browned, but I like them a little crispier/charred.
Once the potstickers are crispy, I remove them from the pan and throw them into a bowl and drizzle a bit of sesame oil on it. Then I mix them in the bowl before plating them and grabbing my side of plum sauce and settling in for a delicious meal.
And boom! It's that easy.
Do you have any go-to quick recipes? I'm looking for a few more.
It's not played out just yet! Versus coffee is one of several east end spots that I will be mentioning in my #ElaishaGoes series while I'm in Toronto. Desiree chose the spot and I'm super happy she did!
We were able to chat over our drinks and catch up after only talking on the phone for the past few weeks. It was pretty quiet on Sunday afternoon with only a few people milling about the shop just before it closed.
All pictures by Desiree at A Desired Journey
I wasn't the biggest fan of my matcha because I'm not used to the flavour with unsweetened almond milk (I try to avoid sugar and milk in my drinks). However, the aesthetic of the small space was to die for. The open concept blended well one into another and was filled with natural light from the floor to ceiling windows. We were able to catch some gorgeous shots while we huddled over our carefully crafted drinks.
Visit if you ever get the chance (even if for the adorable cup filled with their famous s'mores drink). Have you been to Versus before?
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.
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.
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.
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!
I'm starting a new series where I chat about what I've been up to and what events I've had the chance to go to. I like sharing different parts of my life, but sometimes you guys may miss certain things on my social, so let me know if this is something that you'd like to continue to see. Not sure if I want to do this weekly, or just every once and a while.
Mackage Fashion Show
RIP World MasterCard Fashion Week! But I'm excited for what's taken its place. Rogue independent shows, after parties galore and even a few fashion shows have popped up. While I received a bunch of invites, I decided to take it easy and only attend a few.
Today was the Mackage show, but I missed it by 3 minutes. I sprinted towards the check in desk after running 20 minutes later than I was scheduled (thank you TTC!) and was told then that the show had already ended. At least I made it for the brunch and left with a few goodies. It was in celebration of their new Toronto flagship store opening at Yorkdale. I made the trek to my old stomping grounds and also took a swing around Yorkdale too.
Wearing: Reitman Leggings, GAP Booties, Uniqlo Shirt
I finally got to see Tom Odell live. I remember hearing Another Love for the first time and thinking 'Woah, this guy has it'. Then bingeing on everything he made that I could get my hands on. When I watched The Fault In our Stars by myself at the theatre on Fathers Day (lol), I remember hearing his track during the movie and immediately recognizing his voice. Check my review on Aesthetic Magazine Toronto.
Makeup Forever #GlamToGhoul
I joined my boo, Amy (Bratty B) and some other lovely bloggers for a ghoulish Halloween tutorial with Makeup Forever. We learned how to achieve this adorable look in only a few steps. I modified it a bit since I was already wearing makeup. Totally had 'Do a Dear' stuck in my head the entire time. And I left with the coolest glam-mirror!
— BRATTY B (@xbrattybx) October 12, 2016
Learn how to give it a try sometime with YouTube tutorials here. Don't think you've got the skills? On October 28th and 29th at Sephora you can attend your own #GlamToGhoul event!
Ski Vermont Event I had a great time learning some cool (and unexpected) stuff about the state of Vermont. The different resorts there! One of the coolest things was meeting the grandson of the woman who created the Sound of Music. His last name is Von Trapp and yes they have a cool spot in Vermont. It wasn't my usual crowd, so I didn't take as many pictures as usual (sorry!)
Learning more about @ski_vermont tonight! Follow my snaps for details
— ELAISHA JADE (@ElaishaJade) October 13, 2016
It was a super tough week for me and I admit I'm happy it's over. I'll make sure next week is better by staying positive and making a point to keep around positive people.
Until next time!
[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.
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!
I've been sitting on this post for a while. In the wake of the Marc Jacobs criticisms, I think this is the perfect time to publish it.
When I started to blog, I noticed that content from bloggers and influencers seemed very segregated. I didn’t write this post to dive into the politics of why the blogging world isn’t inclusive (read up on the difference between inclusivity and diversity). Instead, I want to give actionable advice to bloggers so they could develop content that is more inclusive!
Read Different Blogs For some, it all starts with making a point of reading blogs written by people who sit at different intersections as them (here is a 2-minute read on intersectionality). Subscribe to new people on Bloglovin’! Follow different users on Instagram. Really read through and take the time to comment on their posts. Look out for my post featuring my favourite black bloggers soon!
Guest Posts Did you notice that all of the guest bloggers you received submissions from were all white? Instead of requesting guest posts from your audience, try reaching out to bloggers-of-colour you may not have worked with before.
Stay in your Lane How-to beauty and fashion posts that appropriate other cultures are a big no-no. Influencers and Bloggers who get defensive instead of listening to rightfully offended groups about appropriated fashion and beauty practices lose the chance to engage with an awesome audience. Not sure what counts as appropriation? Read this.
Add a ‘lil Colour to your Content When I noticed my Pinterest featured mostly white women, I changed it up. I filled my entire ‘Style Goals’ board with only women of colour and started a natural hair board. It took extra time to find many women of colour in street style roundups and features. However, it was worth it since those were my most popular boards on my Pinterest!
Let’s keep the comments section constructive! If you have questions or suggestions please do share.
Sundays are for Lovers Loving Yourself! Whether I go to church in the morning or sleep in, I like to spend at least some part of my Sunday on self-care before the work-week takes its hold of my time. Keep reading for how I make every Sunday special
Get Organized It might seem odd that reviewing my calendar and setting weekly goals is a part of my self-care routine. However, I feel less scattered and stressed during the week if I get my life together on Sunday. I try to get ready for the week ahead in any way I can, whether it's organizing my underwear drawer or checking off things I've been procrastinating on my task list.
Paint Your Nails
Even the smallest thing like getting my nails done makes me feel special
— ELAISHA JADE (@ElaishaJade) September 3, 2016
Not sure if anyone else feels the same way but getting my nails buffed, shaped and painted makes me feel like a new person. I usually end up doing my nails at home. It's a nice treat I love to get done at the salon but I like watching bad rom-com's and giving myself a manicure.
Do Something You Love Whether it's watching too many movie trailers in one sitting or going for a long bike ride I like to do something I love every Sunday. Today I'm watching the incredibly underrated 'Jupiter Ascending' again. Don't @ me.
Eat Something Healthy (and Yummy) After a usually riotous Saturday, I like to scale back on Sunday and eat foods that give me energy and make me feel good. Foods that usually put a kick in my step are a smoothie bowl, vegetable juice, a fruit filled bowl of cereal, or any other vegan meal or snack I can get my hands on.
A photo posted by E L A I S H A J A D E (@elaishajade) on Sep 8, 2016 at 9:28am PDT
Bath Time I've got my bath-time routine down to a science. I remember choosing my apartment because of the deep tub that comes with it. There is nothing like soaking in some bath salts, lighting a scented candle and catching up on my YouTube faves (like It's Judy's Life). Should I write a post on bath-time essentials?
What do you do for self-care? Tell me in the comments!
9 Things About Me
|Image by Nik Popalavsky|
- My name is pronounced Ee-lay-sha or Uh-lay-sha
I often break out into song. No one is safe.
My bucket list includes classic road trip dreams, submitting a Post-Secret and touching Spencer Chamberlain’s dreadlocks.
Autocorrect is my BFF
- I am a Christmas-baby and no, I don't feel robbed.
I have been writing seriously since I was 8 years old.
Podcast listening only comes second to reading dramatic autobiographies
I am self-involved but not Mindy-Lahiri-self-involved.
I am a feminist
I just got to watch our last project this summer up on The Loop's instagram page [@TheLoop.ca] posted below.
Megan Melinda and I all headed to the Rouge Media Speak Easy party and danced to old reggae tunes
I covered Keihl's Rocks for Kids with Simple Plan at the Hoxton with Jayne who was super excited that they played 'Perfect'.
Ended off the week with quick brunch with my mum at Mercatto. The truffle mayo and calamari is so tasty.