It's Monday. And I'm pretty sure it wasn't ever fully daylight at any point. It's rainy and windy and cold here in Toronto, and the leaves are coming off the trees. And my dear friend Heather's apartment needs a fresh coat of paint, and of course I'll do anything to procrastinate on homework, so over I went. I brought coffee and she made eggs. We danced to Destiny's Child and Ja-Rule and Usher, reliving highschool mixed tapes. The purple of her bedroom is cheery and sweet, and the mauvey-grey in the rest of the house is going to look cozy and warm, just right for burrowing in for the fast approaching winter.
I have an extra boring assignment that I need to finish before going to work, so naturally this is a great time to blog. Autumn is in full swing here in Toronto, and I have welcomed it with open arms, extra cups of tea and new ankle rain boots from Loeffler Randall. After I ordered them they got here fast, but because I don't have a doorbell, there was a lot of cat and mouse with the UPS guys (oh the joys of quirky downtown apartments). Now that I have them I wear them even when the sun is out. It's so nice not to have clunky rain boots and feel like a four-year old clunking around every time it rains.
Fitness Club Fiasco took a mini road trip to London last Friday. Since I don't have a car I take the train out to Burlington and Jess (there are two of us in the band) picks me up, and then we all meet up and carpool. A bit of a process. Last week was the first time I was early for the train, and as I was buying my ticket I realized I left my keyboard at home. Who does that?
We are currently doing a fundraising campaign to finish our album. You can check out more information on that here if you'd like.
My heat was off last week for three days; there was a problem with the gas lines in our house so it was turned off for a few days. Wednesday morning I sat on the floor in my kitchen in front of my stove while I drank my coffee. It felt like a rite of passage in a way, in a cold, not fun, grumpy-that-I-have-to-go-elsewhere-to-shower kind of way.
This has been a season of simplicity, finally painting my walls a pale grey, being organized enough (to my own surprise) to make my own lunches most days, lots of reading, lots of simple evenings with dear friends, lots of quiet. I think I am quick to let my time get away from me a bit, so I'm proud of myself for creating a sort of routine and slower pace in this busy city life. December is going to be an extra exciting month (can't wait to tell you all about it!!) so I'm trying to hunker down and stay focused and finish up this first trivial semester of school.
Happy Wednesday. xo
The first month of school is done! It's been a swirling four weeks of essay reading/writing on the subway, figuring out the best point of my morning to get coffee, packing lunches, strategizing the most efficient route from class to class, and realizing that it takes a really long time to read five pages of a philosophy textbook. My writing classes haven't felt overly challenging yet but they HAVE been a lot of work, so I'm glad I don't feel like the content is in over my head. Here are some things that I've done to procrastinate on homework this month:
A few Sundays ago it was the Toronto Book Fair in Queen's Park, and my friend Natasha and I went to browse, and have a healthy helping of roasted corn (yes please). There were hundreds of vendors and publishing houses with discounted books. My book-loving heart wanted to scoop up a hundred books, but my student-wallet said no.
Thus far I've found it successful to combine homework with friends and alcohol. Probably not the healthiest studying habits, but it's been fun so far! This is my lovely friend Heather who kept me company on Sunday before we went to our very first meeting of Dinner Club.
My friend Matt (who is also in Fitness Club Fiasco) filmed two music videos with Southern Souls for his band, Old English. We filmed in Oakville at Cameron's Brewery Company. It was such a cool venue to film in and I can't wait to see the final product, despite some awkward shots of me clapping.
October, October... Next week, I'm going home for a blink to the west coast for my dad's birthday and Canadian Thanksgiving, which I haven't been home for in 4 years! I can. not. wait. I hopefully will also get around to painting my kitchen, and have a lot of really dear people sleeping on my couch this month, which I couldn't be more excited about!
Thanks for visiting xo
Happy July! This picture above sums up my attitude throughout June: defiant against the obvious clouds and hopeful that there is some sun that is going to peak around the corner. While that is slightly metaphorical (mostly in relation to my apartment hunt that has been moderately discouraging), it is mostly literal, because where the heck has the sun been??! I didn't suffer through years of winter to dodge rain for the next four months. Get it together, Weather. Here are some things that happened in June:
Mike and Danica got married. I've known Danica since we were fifteen, and her family is probably a group of the most hilarious people I've ever met, so it was a huge blast to get to celebrate her wedding.
I shot the live beautiful. bridal line. I love this company, and I hope you don't get too sick of hearing about them. We had a blast shooting their custom bridal jewelry in Hamilton in a dreamy meadow.
I've been apartment hunting. Which, especially at this time of year, is the worst. Because I'm going to school in the fall, and my university isn't downtown, I have to strategically move close to the subway line, which means more expensive rent, and way less bang for your buck. I've seen it all this time around: hot plates instead of stoves and advertised as full kitchens, dining rooms with a sheet over the door advertised as a third bedroom (that apartment came with six cats, no thanks), a potential roommate who not only hadn't cleaned the toilet since he moved in, but also hadn't flushed since his last visit to the bathroom. YUCK. I'm strongly considering buying a van and living in a deserted parking lot somewhere.
Fitness Club Fiasco is full steam ahead. We've released our first (free!) single and have been booking gigs like crazy for the summer. Last weekend we had two shows on the weekend, first at Van Gogh's Ear in Guelph and then at a street festival in Burlington. You can see above Jess (the other Jess) has acquired an auctioning microphone for rehearsal, as we have four vocalists and we forgot to bring the fourth mic, and Matt got practical at the street fest (read: no cars allowed near the band shell to load up our gear) and put everything in a shopping cart to transport.
I spent Canada Day at home. My friend Heather and I had grand plans of spending the whole day at the beach, but it was yucky and cold yesterday, so she brought her Sex and the City DVD's over, we ate our picnic food, drank sangria and nestled in for a seriously lazy day. It was pretty fantastic.
Looking back on the month and how it passed in the blink of an eye, I see that I did exactly what you're not supposed to do after a huge, contemplative trip, and I made myself way too insanely busy. I'm hoping to digest my time in Spain and implement the great lessons learned there in the next few months, lessons of slowing down and being mindful of my time and putting time into the things that I really love to do. July holds a lot of shows for Fitness Club Fiasco, more long nights at work, locking down an apartment, getting papers and loans sorted for school, but it will definitely have trips to the beach and time to work on my own music and this space for writing and long nights off with beautiful friends.
Thanks, as always, for visiting.
I did a photoshoot for livebeautiful. jewelry. Okay, maybe you're sick of hearing about it, but I had enough celebrity treatment in one day to make me feel like a professional model to last me a life time. Plus, my very own Audrey Earrings were waiting for me when I got back from Seattle and I've worn them every single day since, with no plans to take them off any time soon. I'm in love!
It was my birthday, and one of my best ones yet. I always get a little bit of anxiety over my birthday. I feel like I have so many diverse circles of friends that I've picked up along the way and I can't really relax, worrying that nobody is having fun. Of course I'm sure that this is a stupid thing to worry about, we're all adults, but this birthday was just the way I like it: low key, relaxing, overly spoiled, filled with yummy food and a few different mini celebrations with dear people. The top picture is my "six years old" face, out for brunch with my girlfriend, Miss Karly Snow, in the middle that is my dear friend Katie, just after the most amazing dinner ever with a few great friends. The last picture is the lovely daffodil bunch that Katie brought over, that got neglected while I was away and unfortunately is not doing so hot. [You can just call me Jess Janz: Killer Of Plants]. I'm hoping that I can transplant the bulbs and revive them... Sorry, Katie! I went home to Seattle. The broader "Pacific North West" has become "home", as my mom grew up near Seattle and my parents are spending more and more time in Washington State; though I was born and raised in BC, I didn't even go to Canada the whole time I was home. I was home for unfortunate circumstances, but it was so good to be home. It was perfect weather, and nothing beats the coast with a clear blue sky and glistening water. There is nothing that is more rejuvenating and aligning than being home, near the water, and with my family. The weekend was full of incredible stories and sharing with extended family. Above are pictures from a hike with mom. Isn't she just the sweetest? I had Easter Dinner with the Lovatts. I just got back this afternoon from a visit to Stouffville to see the absolutely adorable Lovatt family. I've known Iain and Mary since I was about three. My sister and I were their flower girls in 1994, and they moved to Ontario quite a few years before me and were a huge reason I ended up moving out here. Their kids are smart and witty and incredibly polite, the food was great, and it is so lovely to be adopted for holidays by such wonderful people.
I booked a flight just today for my trip to Europe; off I go, April 18th. The next few weeks I'll be packing and re-packing, getting traveler's insurance, and working in my boots as best as I can before taking off on what is the craziest thing I'll ever do.
Toronto has frozen and melted more times than I have washed my hair this month, I bet. Now that we have ample experience with all types of snow, let me give you a little equation here: freezy, super cold, dry snow > slushy, wet, half rain, goopy snow. Hands down. Everything is wet and soaking right now, but I hope that means that spring is coming soon! Here are some fun things that happened in February: I went to Ingersoll and beyond with my dear friend Karla, who was visiting/ on a major tour across southern Ontario at the beginning of the month. Karla recently put out an album called Honeycomb Tombs, which was written dedicated to the process of grief. It's no downer though; it feels like a great big hug and a cup of tea and a doze on the couch while someone plays with your hair all at once. (shameless plug). You can get it on iTunes to support the project or here for free. We had the worst snowstorm in five years. And I had breakfast with Heather. Two words: breakfast. tacos. Best ever from Aunties and Uncles. Heather and I met over three years ago working at a restaurant and I forced her to follow me to the Keg. She lets me sleep on her couch and feeds me yummy vegetarian food and lets me hang out with her cats. It was Valentine's Day. So before I had to work, I had breakfast with Lauren, and we went for mani/pedi's. And called her boyfriend Josh. Four times. It was time well spent, let me tell you. My mom came to visit. Since I'm moderately homeless right now, we snagged a super deal at the Fairmont downtown, slept in, ate lots of food, bought my hiking boots for Spain, went for brunch with Katie, drove to Hamilton for Old English's album release, went to Lauren's house in Brantford, stayed up chatting until 3am, and got up and drove to the airport at 4:30am. It was much needed mamma/jess time and I loved that we got to spend time together! I attended my first CRAVE chat. This networking forum was about how your blog can grow your business. Shown is my dear friend Trisha Donkers, Marina from Nour-ish, and Nicole Wilson from Dainty Girl. It was a blast, and really inspiring. I wanted to come home and write eight thousand things. Instead I ate leftovers and went to bed. But this week has been full of writing and amping up my blog and networking tools, for example I bought the domain name here so you are now visiting visitjessjanz.com. Exxciting! I started an internship. Trisha is kind enough to let me tag along and study her creative and professional genius of being a freelance writer. This is me looking at emails and already procrastinating on Twitter. Note my second cup of coffee, gone.
Welcome, March! This upcoming month promises exciting times celebrating my birthday (!), crunch time saving for my trip to Spain (aka NO EATING OUT OR SHOPPING, JESS JANZ), lots of walks to break in my shoes, booking a flight, maybe some musical endeavours, and of course, lots of writing.